Source: WELTEC BIOPOWER

Owners of a gas-to-grid project in the UK have appointed a German biogas plant manufacturer to construct a biomethane plant which will generate sufficient clean power to power 9,600 households.

The plant will go live in late 2019 and deliver c7.3 million m³ of biomethane to the UK gas distribution network.

The amount of eco-friendly natural gas equivalent is sufficient to supply about 9,600 households with sustainable energy, 24/7.

Lanes Farm Energy selected WELTEC BIOPOWER as the technology partner.

"The locally sourced feedstocks contribute greatly to the project's sustainability," emphasises Dr. Kevin Monson, Sales Manager at WELTEC UK. Food leftovers account for more than half of the 80,000 tpa of substrate.

"Additionally, there is cattle and chicken manure as well as grass silage and hybrid rye," Monson added.

The effective utilisation of leftovers is a key reason why Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA), considers biomethane projects such as this one to be ecologically and economically trend-setting.

According to ADBA, the anaerobic digestion (AD) of food leftovers could cover a third of the gas or power demand in the UK and create 35,000 new jobs.

"For a large project such as the one that is being rolled out for Lanes Farm Energy to be successful, a lot of experience, hard work, co-operation and proven technology is required", explains Carsten Hesselfeld, Sales Engineer at WELTEC UK.

The gas production will enable c850 standard m³ of biomethane to be used as feed-in, which will be produced every hour from December 2019 on.

Additionally, the biomethane production will yield digestate, which can be used as high-quality fertiliser, returning organic material and nutrients to the land.

Biomethane plants such as Lanes Farm Energy will play an increasingly important role in the UK national energy mix.

Compared to coal or oil, the biomethane production from leftovers enables carbon savings of about 90%.

“With the UK needing to boost energy security post-Brexit, and to re-balance its energy mix to reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, recovering clean, reliable biomethane from organic wastes and injecting it into the gas grid is a crucial piece of the energy jigsaw” observes Dr. Kevin Monson.

He added: "The provision of sustainable renewable heat and transport fuel from wastes means that biomethane will surely be further promoted by forward-thinking Governments. Biomethane plants are the epitome of the sustainable circular economy. The technology is proven and the gas grid is a ready-made distribution network."