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Ups and downs for Tamar Energy

Tamar Energy continued its expansion of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants with the ministerial inauguration of a facility in Nottinghamshire, but saw another project halted following pressures from a local campaigner group.

On 20 March, the energy and climate change secretary Greg Barker (above) opened a Tamar facility in Retford, the largest on-farm AD to date.

The minister praised AD as a treatment solution and source of renewable energy.

“Tamar Energy’s new AD plant is the largest facility of its kind in the UK and is a great example of how waste can be used to powering homes and businesses across the country,” Barker said.

The Retford facility is a joint venture between Tamar Energy and Sutton Grange Anaerobic Digestion, a company established by Fred Walter and Mark Paulson. It is situated on Fred Walter’s 2,500 acre family farm.

The 3MW plant will treat agricultural waste, manures and maize from local suppliers in nearby areas of Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire.

The biogas is converted on-site to generate electricity, enough to power 6,000 homes, and exported to the national grid.

The company described the opening of the facility as the “latest in Tamar Energy’s rapidly expanding UK-wide AD network”.

However, the development of another of its projects, a facility in Bury, was halted after the Bury Metropolitan Council decided not to approve the plant planning application.

The facility in Ramsbottom would have been built by a consortium comprising developer Peel Environmental, concrete producer Marshalls and Tamar Energy.

According to the BBC, planning officials had recommended accepting the development but councillors voted unanimously to block the plan.

This followed pressures from local campaigners concerned over the smell and the facility’s proximity to nearby home.

The companies said they were “disappointed” at the decision.

“We believe AD is a highly responsible way of dealing with organic waste – directing waste to the AD facility in Ramsbottom, rather than to landfill, would result in a significant displacement of approximately 30,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” they said.

They noted the proposal represented an investment of over £15m for the local economy.

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