Thursday, 14 October 2010

Severn Trent invests in biogas to meet renewable targets

With the potential to generate 15GWh of electricity each year, the UK's
first large scale anaerobic digester to run purely on energy crops is
nearing full production. Andy Collings reports

Take 37,000t of forage maize, 2500t of whole-crop wheat, a £15m digester and
two 1500hp, V-20, 60-litre engines and you have the means to generate 15GWh
of electricity each year - enough to power 4000 homes.

Severn Trent Water's latest project - the UK's first large-scale anaerobic
digester to run wholly on energy crops - is on schedule to meet an
end-of-year deadline for full electricity production.

A company keen to exploit renewable energy, Severn Trent has no fewer than
52 gas-powered engines on 35 water treatment sites. Total production last
year was 183GWh, representing 20% of the company's annual electricity bill. The new digester, however, based at Stoke Bardolph, Nottinghamshire, is in
another league. Work started in the spring of 2009 with the construction of
five large silage clamps - each of which can hold about 7500t of ensiled
maize or whole crop wheat.

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