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Lower Reule Bioenergy commences operation

The 500-acre Lower Reule farm has begun the operation of its £3 million (€3.5 million) anaerobic digestion (AD) biogas facility in Staffordshire, UK.

The plant will produce 1.3MW of electricity from a combination of feedstocks. 12,750 tonnes of food waste collected from local supermarkets and food producers will be the main source of power but 1,250 tonnes of maize silage and 1,000 tonnes of pig slurry will also be utilised.

While the power generated will be used to supply the National Grid, it has not yet been decided what the heat will be used for. A heating system for the farm’s strawberry tunnels, heating beds for the cultivation of asparagus, and drying woodchips for the biomass sector all look to be strong possibilities.

‘Not only do we have products to use and sell in the form of power and fertiliser, we also have excess heat available to extend our existing strawberry business or possibly set up another enterprise,’ said the director at Lower Reule Bioenergy Ian Critchley.

The farm is set to double its waste processing capacity from 15,000 tonnes to 30,00 tonnes in June this year. Work is expected to be finished in October 2010.