Farm will generate heat and electricity from poultry poop

In Hereford, England, Great Ynys Farm will convert litter from 90,000 chickens into biogas for renewable electricity and heat generation.

Some of the electricity will be used to power the poultry houses and anaerobic digester, with the remaining 90% will be sold to the national grid. The captured waste heat will warm the chicken houses, reducing the consumption of expensive fuel oil and propane gas.

The farm is scheduled to begin producing heat and electricity on 1 August 2011.

The AD plant has been designed to handle 700 tonnes of chicken waste a year, in addition to 1,000 tonnes of cattle slurry and 3,000 tonnes of maize silage. The use of maize reduces nitrogen levels in the digestion process and prevents the build up of high concentrations of ammonia that would hinder the production of biogas.

The CHP plant will generate 250kW of electricity – enough to power 450 houses – and 200kW of heat. These energy sources will qualify for the Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive programmes.

Ynergy, the farm's new green power company, has contracted biogas generation expert Ener-G and biogas plant manufacturer PlanET Biogastechnik for project delivery. Ground works were carried out by local contractors JJ Stanley and the concrete tank construction by Galglass of Yorkshire. Triangle supplied the low voltage electrical panel.

'We are proud to... improve our sustainability and energy self-sufficiency, while securing a new income stream,' says Susan Shakesheff, director of Ynergy. 'We are able to find a superior alternative for utilising our chicken litter and are helping neighbouring dairy farmers to recycle their cattle slurry.'

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