Meaford’s proposed new power station is part of a £32 million government-funded scheme to ensure a stable and affordable power supply across the county, thus helping to create more than 20,000 jobs.
The Powerhouse Central project is being funded by the government’s City Deal, which council and business leaders from Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent signed on March 13th.
The City Deal programme will be delivered by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire County Council and the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, working with more than 40 businesses and partners.
The money will be invested in various power schemes including using water from disused mines in Stoke-on-Trent to provide electricity for 1,000 homes.
This geothermal system works by pumping the water out of the mines, extracting the heat from it and using the temperature difference to generate power. North Staffordshire mines are reportedly some of the hottest in the country, with temperatures rising in places to 43oC.
Key projects to be delivered in the next 10 years include:
· The Stoke-on-Trent District Heat Network, the UK’s first large-scale geothermal project, powering businesses and up to 1,000 homes in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent
· Creation of a smart energy network demonstrator at Keele University to test cutting edge energy and carbon reduction technology
· Harnessing energy from the Four Ashes waste plan in South Staffordshire.
· Innovation and support programmes to aid small-to-medium sized business and help them turn ideas into products
· Pilot programmes and investment to create 3,900 apprenticeships, 1,100 traineeships and skills training for 9,000 jobseekers
· Prioritise six key industrial sites to develop through future negotiations with Government: Etruria Valley, Keele University Science and Business Park, City Centre Spine, Branston Locks and Lichfield Park and Meaford.
At Meaford, steam from the proposed gas power station would supply low-cost heating to tenants on the adjacent business park.