Scotland increases number of AD plants

Sustainable energy provider Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) is due to begin the construction of its £13.5 million (€15.9 million) biogas facility in North Ayrshire, Scotland, UK, by the end of May.

With support in the form of £2.2 million from the Scottish Government the Ayrshire renewable waste treatment plant is the first in a long line of planned AD plants throughout Scotland.

Using anaerobic digestion (AD), the plant, which is due to be operational in the summer of 2011, will convert 75,000 tonnes of waste annually to produce methane gas that will then be burned to generate 2.5MW of electricity for the power grid. 50% of the waste will be sourced from food while the majority of the rest will come from farming.

The company’s long-term vision is to construct 10 AD plants costing a total of £100 million, which will supply gas to the gas grid.

Linwood-based waste treatment group William Tracey owns the former Barkip landfill site on which the Ayrshire plant will be constructed. William Tracey has been contracted to provide the waste for the plant for 25 years.

According to SSE the proposals have received no objections from the local residents.

Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, said: ‘Biogas has the potential to be one of the most important new generation renewable and sustainable energy solutions available to us, capturing the energy contained in waste,’ said Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE. ‘This new project will enable SSE to gain experience in owning and operating this technology so we are well placed to bring that knowledge to future projects in Scotland.’

Despite the popularity of AD plants in England, they are proving to be not so popular in Scotland. The region’s current largest AD facility, which cost £7 million to build and generated 1.1MW of heat and 6,000MW/h of electricity annually, will soon be the second largest once SSE’s facility is completed.

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