Scottish dairy firm Graham’s submits bioenergy plans

Graham’s The Family Dairy in Fife, Scotland, has submitted plans to its local council for a low carbon heat project.

The proposed plant would be built for Graham's cheese production facility at the Glenfield Industrial Estate in Cowdenbeath and would generate and distribute bioenergy for on-site heat and power.

The proposed low carbon effluent treatment plant would provide an innovative solution to utilising waste residue (whey) from cheese-making to produce green heat and electricity, which would be used on-site through a closed pipe network. As part of Graham’s wider green investment plans, the proposed development will generate renewable power to deliver:

  • 80% of the site’s baseload electricity

  • 50% of peak electric load

  • 50% of boiler gas supply

  • A 20% reduction in vehicle and traffic flow to and from the site

  • A 50% reduction in effluent disposal, a saving of 62.94 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per hour

Robert Graham, managing director at Graham’s, said: “Building a sustainable environment for our next generation is incredibly important to our family. We are actively working to achieve net-zero carbon across every area of our business

“The dairy sector has the potential to lead in the transition to a net-zero carbon economy, particularly within the areas of heat and transport. Our plans for the Glenfield dairy in Cowdenbeath will mark a step-change in investment within the dairy sector in zero-carbon innovation, infrastructure and skills development to accelerate climate adaptation within the industry.

“This builds on our recent investment in a 15 MW solar park on our farmland in the Carse of Stirling as we move our business, at speed and scale, to decarbonise.”

The plant would be a first for Scotland’s dairy industry, according to Graham’s. The ‘ground-breaking’ plans were proposed in response to the challenges set out by the Scottish Government in its Energy Strategy and the transition within the dairy sector to zero-carbon operational processes.

Graham’s project forms part of the flagship Low Carbon Innovation Transition Programme for Heat and Industry and received a grant in 2020 to deliver the plant alongside a Skills Development and Information Exchange to support Fife’s Clean Growth Agenda.

The company hopes to complete the project by spring 2021.

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