Great growing conditions…

May 4, 2011

The recent spell of fine weather has provided great growing conditions for more than one kind of plant! Work on Local Generation’s first anaerobic digestion (AD) plant is rapidly progressing and is on schedule for commissioning later this year. Our photographers were there to capture some of the latest construction highlights:

The pasteurisation tanks are now in place. Inside these streamlined yet powerful tanks, the liquidised food mix will be treated at a balmy temperature of 70ºC for a minimum of one hour. In a process similar to milk pasteurisation, this reduces the levels of undesirable bugs in the mix. The digestate that emerges at the end of this process can be spread safely on agricultural land.

No, it’s not a visiting UFO! But still, pretty exciting – a shot of our first digestion tank roof being built. This tank is where the liquidised food is heading once pasteurization is complete. The main part of the AD digestion process takes place in this tank. It’s also where the majority of biogas, rich in methane, is generated.

The methane gas produced by the AD process generates electricity using combined heat and power engines. Some of this energy will be used to operate the AD plant as well as providing green electricity to our sister company, Fenmarc Produce Ltd. Any surplus will be exported to the National Grid via the ‘export cable’ that’s being installed in the photo here.

By the time the plant is fully operational, it’s expected to divert up to 30,000 tonnes a year of food waste from landfill. This will help to lower both greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions.