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Partnership breaks ground on AD plant

In Poundbury, Dorset, UK, construction work has started on an anaerobic digestion plant at Rainbarrow Farm.

Using waste materials and crops, the anaerobic digestion plant will produce electricity, gas and fertiliser. The gas generated from the process will benefit around 4,000 households in the surrounding area.

JV Energen, a collaboration between landowners, local farmers and the Duchy of Cornwall, will deliver the plant to the site, which is slated to be operational by March 2012.

'We will be producing most of the feedstock and getting back the digestate as fertilisers,' explains Nick Finding, chairman of JV Energen. 'That will be recycled and we will no longer be having to use inorganic fertilisers.'

The new project also includes a new access road and an education centre. And, according to Finding, the locals will not be subjected to any unpleasant smells from the facility. 'The process actually takes the smell out so that when the digestate goes back on the land it will look like slurry but there will be no smell.'

Despite this, the proposed plant created mixed reactions and parish councillors initially objected to the plans.

'I am for it as an alternative energy source,' says councillor Christopher Barnes. 'I don't think any of them looked closely enough at the plans to see once it's completed it will clearly have minimal impact.'

When the anaerobic plant comes online, it is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 8,000 tonnes a year.