A £65 million steam turbine power plant fuelled by local wood is to be built at the Discovery Park Enterprise Zone.
Planning permission for the biomass plant was granted last Friday, just 8 weeks after the application was submitted.
Renewable heat and energy will be supplied to businesses across the 220-acre Discovery Park in Sandwich as well as the national grid – enough energy to supply the equivalent of 21,000 homes. Estover Energy said building work was expected to begin next spring.
About 100 jobs will be created during construction with 20 permanent positions at the plant and 20 in the forestry and transport sector.
Energy minister Greg Barker said the plant would help stimulate the rural economy.
“By sourcing their fuel from the South East the wider benefits of developing a new supply chain are felt locally and provide a much-needed market to support coppice woodlands in south-east England,” he said.
Discovery Park chairman Trevor Cartner said:
“The benefits to us and to the wider region are significant and we are proud that we can now offer our tenants a clean and sustainable source of energy for the future.”
As an Enterprise Zone, the former Pfizer site benefits from a simplified planning system, business rate relief and super fast broadband.