The processing of the Forestalia biomass plant in Cubillos del Sil is progressing

The forecast is to begin construction work this winter.

The Official Gazette of Castilla y León publishes this Monday the announcement of public information of the biomass power generation plant project that Forestalia will build in the El Bayo industrial estate, in Cubillos del Sil (León). The clean energy plant will have an output of 49.9 megawatts (MW) and will involve a total initial investment of some 100 million euros.

It is planned to start work this winter, with a deadline of 24 months. In this period, more than 200 people will work on its construction. When it is in operation, it is calculated the creation of 50 direct industrial jobs in the plant, plus an impact of another 300 jobs in cleaning of mountains, fields and transport, among other services.

Forest cleaning and support for agriculture

The factory will be supplied with biomass from the area, mostly forest splinter from a priority of the closest environment, such as the Comarca del Bierzo, among others. To a lesser extent, and in a complementary manner, it will also use cereal straw from agricultural areas in the province of León.

The plant will consume 300,000 annual tons of biomass. The plant will contribute to the sustainability of nearby forests, which will have a new opportunity to clean up and take advantage of their resources, through silvicultural works to prevent forest fires. In addition, more than 500 farmers in nearby areas may place a secondary product such as cereal straw in this proximity transformation center, achieving added value for their exploitation.

Facilities at El Bayo

The plant plans to occupy an area of ​​100,000 square meters, of which approximately 50,000 will be for the center of reception, storage and processing of biomass. The facilities will have a biomass treatment, storage and feeding system; grid boiler, with all its auxiliary equipment, for the combustion of biomass; gas cleaning system with all its auxiliary equipment, including continuous emission measuring equipment and a chimney 80 meters high; steam turbine, reducer, elastic coupling between reducer and generator, and electric alternator; steam condenser to work in the required conditions, with its vacuum system by ejectors and vacuum vapor condenser by the condensate itself of the cycle.

The facility will produce more than 320 million KWh, equivalent to the supply required by 50,000 homes. Likewise, part of the heat produced in the processes could be used to supply industries or a distributed heating system for domestic use (district heating). With this plant, Castilla y León will be among the first Communities in the production of electricity from biomass.

Awards in the auctions

The project comes from the renewable energy auction held in January 2016, the first in the country after the 2012 moratorium. In that first auction, Forestalia was the largest bidder, with 300 MW of wind and 108.5 MW of biomass. After obtaining these results, Forestalia was invited by the Autonomous Government to be located in the Community due to its important impact on employment, specifically in the mining regions of León, with a long energy and industrial culture. In the following auctions, in 2017, Forestalia was awarded 1,200 MW of more wind and 316 MW of photovoltaic.