A new gasworks in North West England will produce biomethane from the waste products of a nearby dairy. The £10 million project planned and built by British company Clearfleau is the first of its kind in the UK, although common food waste has been used for energy production for some time.
After reaching full capacity within two months, the Lake District biogas plant will process approximately 1,650 cubic meters of effluent and whey and produce approximately 1,000 cubic meters of biogas per day, which in turn will produce approximately 5 MW of thermal energy.
At least 60 percent of the gas produced will be used to power First Milk’s Aspatria creamery, where the cheese waste products come from. The rest can be used by local individuals and companies. Clearfleau says 1,000 cubic meters of biogas would be enough to power 4,000 homes; so, working backwards, that means about 1,600 households will be powered by cheap by-products.
As an environmentally friendly energy producer, the plant will be subsidized by the UK government under the Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive programmes. For the next 20 years, the facility is expected to receive £2 million a year in grants and generate £3 million a year in revenue and cost savings.