Landfill gas fuel production is being increased at two Viridor sites in Devon. Heathfield near Kingsteignton and Broadpath near Uffculme already supply electricity produced by burning landfill gas to the National Grid.
After successful operation of the original power generating equipment, the company has decided to install three new engines across the two sites.
Two will be installed at Heathfield increasing energy generation to 8.5 MW from 5.86MW. At Broadpath one new engine will increase the energy produced to 4.75MW from 3MW. This extra capacity will produce enough electricity to power about 8,000 homes.
Environment Agency officer Chris James said: The EA welcomes the expansion of power generation at these two sites and is encouraged by the progress made by Viridor. The company would have to extract the gas anyway, so by burning it to produce power it is producing electricity from something that would otherwise go to waste.
It is important the South West generates more of its own electricity. There are relatively few power stations in the region and we rely on the rest of the country for much of our power. Any increase in energy production within the region, especially renewable energy, has to be good news.
Viridor Waste to Energy director Dick Turner said: Landfill gas is making an important contribution to the Governments renewable energy programme which aims to reduce the UKs reliance on fossil fuels.