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03 Feb 09. Almost 900 years after its dockyards opened for the building and servicing of Britain’s warships, Portsmouth’s historic naval base on the south coast is going green, writes Sylvia Pfeifer. The base, which will be the home of the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers, plans to build a waste-to-energy plant to help cut its energy bills and meet the ships’ electricity needs onshore once they come into service. The Ministry of Defence has asked a handful of waste specialist and support services companies to bid for a contract to build a commercial waste-to-energy plant. With fuel bills expected to keep rising, despite recent falls in commodity prices, the plant would help the base cut its electricity bills. Under the proposal, the new plant would provide a minimum of 12 megavolt amperes (MVA) directly to the base. The base is limited to a 30MVA demand on the National Grid, with a further 10MVA reserve. However, the peak load once the new carriers are in service is forecast to be as high as 48MVA. The two ships, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, will be the biggest and most powerful warships built for the navy. Each will be at least twice the size of the Invincible-class carriers currently in service and, once in port, each will require a sizeable chunk of electricity from the grid. The new plant would help the base meet that increased demand. VT Group is tipped by defence industry sources as the frontrunner to win the contract. A decision is expected later this month. (Source: FT.com)