Sajjad recently visited the first of what will become a network of anaerobic digestor energy-farms across the North West. Farmgen’s plant at Carr Farm, Warton near Preston, is now fully operational and turns crops and other material into 800 kilowatts of energy, enough to power more than 1,000 homes.
Sajjad said he believed there was potential for a huge roll-out of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, like the £3m facility development by Farmgen. He had also visited the company’s £4m facility at Dryholme Farm, near Silloth, Cumbria, last November. This is due to go live at the end of the summer.
During his visit to Carr Farm Sajjad was briefed on the challenges facing the industry by Simon Rigby who founded Farmgen. The AD known as “Baby” as it has to be fed regularly, can digest a wide variety of products in combination to ensure a steady production of the methane gas which is then used to generate electricity. Farmgen already have a 5 year contract with Marks and Spencer who will buy energy generated from Carr Farm, as part of its ethical and environmental programme, to procure more renewable electricity from small-scale energy sources.
“The opportunity to tour Carr Farm, now the whole plant is working, has made me realise the full potential of AD, both in respect of the utilisation of a wide variety of crops and products to create much needed low-cost electricity, and in the re-cycling of the remaining by-products back into the land, or alternative sources such as peat”, said Sajjad.
Anaerobic Digestors can play a key role in helping the UK bridge its looming ‘energy gap’ and over-reliance on carbon-intensive, fossil fuel-burning power stations. Germany have 5,000 AD plants up and running already, and in this country the government says it wants to create 1,000.
Sajjad commented, “Simon and the Farmgen team are making a real difference in the renewable energy market. It is important, not just for the environment, but for the energy security of the UK, that we have a strong, robust and supported renewable energy sector.