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Farm to supply 1.3MW of power to National Grid through AD

A £3m anaerobic digestion (AD) plant which is set to supply power to more than 1,300 homes has opened on a farm in Staffordshire.

The plant at Lower Reule received a £750,000 grant from the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and will supply 1.3MW a year of renewable energy to the National Grid.

The input used to supply the plant will come from food waste which is collected separately at the kerbside by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council together with 1,000 tonnes of pig slurry and 1,250 tonnes of maize silage coming from the farm itself.

Lower Reule Bioenergy director Ian Critchley said: “The AD plant offers a very exciting diversification opportunity for the farm.”

The biogas will be burnt through a combined heat and power plant (CHP), which produces equal amounts of heat and power and while the power will be supplied to the National Grid, options for the heat are still being considered. One possibility involves using the heat to heat up strawberry tunnels on the farm and extend the growing system.

Currently, the plant has the capacity to process 15,000 tonnes of waste per year but this will rise to 30,000 tonnes in the autumn once the second phase of development is completed.

WRAP supply programme manager Louise McGregor said: “Lower Reule Bioenergy provides a perfect example of the scope and versatility of AD as a sustainable business opportunity.”

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