There’s a fungus among us: Heliex Power goes Dutch with mushroom farm order

Scottish energy manufacturer Heliex Power has been commissioned by Netherlands-based Wattplant to install its innovation at the company’s T Voske mushroom farm.

The farm is located in Uden, between Eindhoven and Nijmegen. Already chemical-free, the estate is aiming to become the world’s first grower with a completely energy and climate-neutral nursery.

Working with a steam-raising biomass boiler, the Heliex system will generate 160kW of low-cost electricity. It will also produce heat at temperatures specifically set for growing mushrooms, which thrive in moist and humid conditions.

The residual heat from the GenSet will be used to warm the farm’s sheds, as well as cooling them with an absorption heater when necessary. A portion of the heat will also be sold to a strawberry farm next door.

The electricity, eligible for the Dutch feed-in tariff, will be used on site for the running of the farm, which requires 700,000kWh annually. Most of the electrical demand will be met by the Heliex GenSet, with payback on the system expected to be less than three years.

Chris Armitage, CEO at Heliex Power, said: “The farm tried other power generation systems to provide their energy needs, but they didn’t deliver the expected results.

“The Heliex GenSet proved ideal for generating the low cost, low carbon electricity they required, along with residual heat at the right temperature. We’re immensely proud that our technology can play such an important role in the development of such an ambitious and sustainable project.”

The latest order follows Heliex’s first-ever sale in Austria, where its technology is being used as part of a district heating scheme. After beginning to sell its GenSet in 2013, East Kilbride-based Heliex has nearly 50 units in the field, clocking up more than 120,000 operating hours. It has exported its systems to Poland, France, and Italy, among other countries.

Armitage added: “This latest order underlines the worldwide potential of our products – there are a number of countries and industries across the globe that could significantly benefit from our energy recovery systems. We’ve had particular success in countries where the cost of electricity tends to be high, like Italy, but we’re currently exploring a series of opportunities across Europe and beyond.”

This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Bioenergy Insight magazine.

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