SELCHP (pronounced 'sell-chip) is an advanced Energy Recovery Facility built through a partnership between the public and private sectors. Opened in 1994, SELCHP is regarded as an example of industry best practice, with similar facilities modelled on its design now constructed around the world.
SELCHP is a waste disposal facility which recycles the energy in household waste and currently produces electricity. Having reached the end of its NFFO five year support period, SELCHP now hopes to develop a district heating system and use the heat potential that exists on the site to become a true CHP facility. SELCHP's main shareholders, Veolia Environnment (formally Onyx UK) and Martin Engineering Systems/CNIM are developing plants similar to SELCHP throughout the UK.
On average, every household produces one tonne of waste a year. SELCHP can receive up to 464,000 tonnes of household waste per annum, directly from residents of Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich, Westminster and Bromley. SELCHP manages the waste in a sustainable way, achieving a number of key environmental objectives.
Energy is recovered from the waste, supplying enough power for 48,000 homes.
One tonne of municipal solid waste is equivalent to 1⁄3 tonne of coal, so the facility has a significant role to play in reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
Waste is diverted from landfill, helping the residents of the London boroughs to meet government and European Directive targets.
The SELCHP Energy Recovery Facility was built to serve the community where it is located; taking into consideration the public's needs, not only in terms of waste treatment, but also through strict control of noise, traffic and odour.
How the power is generated
Steam leaves the boilers at a temperature of 395°C and pressure of 46 bar, and is fed directly into a single 35 MW steam turbine generator. The turbine rotates the generator to produce electricity. Steam from the turbine is also used to pre-heat the combustion air for the waste burning process.
A bank of air cooled condensers condense the exhaust steam from the turbine and recycle the water back into the process. Electricity is generated at 11kV and transformed up to 132kV for export to the London Electricity system which passes very close to the SELCHP facility.
No supplementary fuel is required to maintain combustion, just refuse and controlled addition of air.