RWE invests in noise abatement technology at biomass plant
The 55 MW combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant can generate power for 100,000 homes and has been operational since 2015. Most recently, RWE invested in a state-of-the-art Energy Centre that provides heat to the Glenrothes Energy Network – a local heat scheme between Fife Council, RWE and the Scottish Government.
In 2019, RWE conducted a noise assessment and identified a low frequency tonal noise associated with the steam turbine generator. Although the noise is within all operational limits, RWE worked with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to find a solution to minimise any audible background noise.
RWE identified a material that can act as an ‘acoustic jacket’ around the generator and the installation was fitted in the first half of this year. The technology is fitted externally, therefore, the station’s operations were not impacted.
Following a series of noise performance tests on and off site by an external specialist, results confirm that the insulation has ‘significantly’ reduced the low-frequency tonal noise.
“RWE is committed to improving the efficiency of the plant, with both technical and physical investments,” said Kathrin Schmelter, Markinch CHP biomass plant manager.
“It is also important that we look for ways to minimise the impact of our operations on the local community. Many of our staff live locally and RWE is proud to be a part of the local community. We will continue to work with local stakeholders and look for constant improvements.”