Supporting biomass projects of all sizes and bio fuel types

Our thorough knowledge of energy infrastructure has enabled RPS to develop a fully coordinated, multi-disciplinary service offering in the biomass sector.

We have been involved with projects from 10MW to 300MW using fuel such as waste wood, wood pellets, palm oil, straw and chicken litter.

We have experience in dedicated biomass facilities, conversion of coal fired power stations to biomass and fuel storage facilities with both rail and ship off loading. Our marine team have been involved in port upgrades to handle import of fuel and even designing sea outfalls for cooling water intake.

We are currently acting as facility designers for biomass developers, as designers for EPC or civil contractors and also as owners engineers providing an independent review of EPC contractor proposals.

Our planners are experienced in all scales of biomass projects including projects registered under Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP).

Our services include:

Planning consultancy (including NSIP)

Environmental services


Facility design (architecture / engineering)

Port and marine design

Stack emission monitoring.

Download our Biomass
Capability Statement here

Case Studies

Biomass Energy Plant Thetford

Biomass Energy Plant, Thetford

Energy Power Resources Ltd

RPS provided a range of services for the development of an innovative new-build, biomass fuelled combined heat and power station.

Our team worked closely with the client, their process engineering team and the Local Authority to submit a planning application for a new 40MW wood burning biomass plant.

The proposed renewable energy plant, on the 8.9ha site, is capable of generating both heat and electrical power for approx 68,500 homes. After significant consultation with all stakeholders our design consultants provided Architectural design & layouts, Earthworks, Drainage and Foundations and External Roads & Pavements.

The plant includes various buildings, housing a number of key processes, including:

A fuel reception

A fuel storage building

A biomass receiving and mixing buildings

A boiler house

A turbine house

An air-cooled condenser

An 80m high flue stack.

Biomass Gasification CHP Facility

Biomass Gasification CHP Facility, York

University of York

RPS provided technical advice to support the University of York as they worked to reduce their energy costs.

Acting as Technical Advisors to the client, this facility, which is to be delivered under the NEC form of contract, is approaching the detailed design stage.

As part of The University of York's ongoing commitment to reducing its reliance on spiralling external energy costs, this facility provides the University with 1700 kW of electrical production together with 1600 kW of thermal energy. The energy produced from this facility is to be utilised around the whole University of York Campus via its district heating and HV distribution networks.

As a contributor to reduction in CO2, the Biomass Gasification facility will reduce the University's emissions by between 4,400 and 10,300tpa depending on the final configuration and selection of the plant within this facility. RPS support included Building Services, Process Engineering, Acoustics, Environmental, Architectural and Structural designs.

Blackburn Meadows

Blackburn Meadows Renewable Energy facility, Sheffield


RPS is providing extensive consultancy services for a new-build biomass power station on a former industrial site on the outskirts of Sheffield.

RPS design consultants worked closely with the client, their process engineering team and the Local Authority to realise planning approval for the 30MW biomass plant. Our engineers provided scheme designs for the Foundations, Substructure, Drainage, External Works and Buildings Substructure.

This process included the collation of superstructure and plant loadings data from drawings/schedules provided by the various process equipment suppliers, which allowed us to design an appropriate building in which to house it.

The biomass boiler and turbine are to be supported on foundations and superstructure with extremely tight settlement limits.

The facility is currently being constructed on a remediated brownfield site that had complex geotechnical characteristics. When complete and operational the plant will comprise a boiler and turbine house, fuel storage and handling building, admin buildings and a visitor centre with an accessible and appropriately landscaped green roof.

Drax Power Station

Drax Power Station, Selby

Drax Power Ltd / Shepherd Construction Ltd

RPS is providing a range of services for two elements of Project Pheonix, converting three generating units at Drax Power Station from coal to a renewable, cost effective biomass material.

RPS is Lead Designer, Architect and Civil and Structural Engineer for the Eco-store and biomass fuel transfer element of the project that is currently under construction.

The biomass conversion programme depends upon the design and construction of a new fuel storage and handling facility, together with associated plant modifications to secure the maximum benefit from co-firing.

The implemented solution is an innovative and complex system of fuel delivery, handling, storage and reclaim for the pelletised fuel. It is delivered to site by train and automatically unloaded as the train passes, without stopping, through a dedicated multi-level unloading building incorporating a 15m deep sheet piled basement.

The fuel is transported via a system of conveyers, most supported on steel gantries, to a maximum height of 65m. A bespoke process building facilitates the screening of the fuel to remove over-sized materials and ferrous contaminants. The fuel is then conveyed to one of four 63m diameter, 50m high storage domes, each one capable of storing more than 110,000m3 of biomass fuel.

North Blyth Biomass Power Station

North Blyth Biomass Power Station, Northumberland

RES Northern Europe

RPS are currently working with the client and their process engineering team and the Local Authority to achieve planning approval for a c.100MW biomass plant, using up to 900,000 tonnes of fuel.

Our designers have provided concept & feasibility design, Design & Access Statements, Option studies, 3D model, CABE reviews and public exhibition information and materials.

The initial design options for the layout, considered site location, highway access and visual impact. RPS were responsible for:

Liaising with the process designers

Various value engineering exercises to optimise the plant's layout

Road, rail and port links (where appropriate)

Environmental considerations

The undertaking of local, historical, physical context site analyses and photo studies.