Operations have begun at what is now the largest food waste to energy plant in Wales, at a £7.5 million facility in Denbighshire.
The Waen plant will take 22,500 tonnes of food waste each year, sourced from local councils, and generate 1 megawatt (MW) of clean, green electricity for the national grid.
Site operator and anaerobic digestion specialist Biogen say the facility will provide enough electricity to power 2,000 homes, the equivalent of the nearby city of St Asaph.
Anaerobic digestion, one of the less familiar forms of renewable energy, is a collection of natural processes, in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material producing, among other things, biogas, which is largely made up of methane and carbon dioxide. This biogas can be cleanly burned to provide a renewable source of heat or power.
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The Waen plant will also produce a biofertiliser, which will be supplied to local farmers.
“We are delighted that construction of the plant was completed on time and within budget. We’re very happy to be working in partnership with Denbighshire County Council, Conwy County Borough Council and Flintshire County Council to help the authorities, and Wales as a whole, lead the way in recycling food waste to create green energy,” said Julian O’Neill, chief executive of Biogen.
“The Waen plant and our other projects in Wales and in England are making a significant contribution to the target of meeting 15% of the UK’s energy demand through renewable sources by 2020.”
The UK’s government-owned Green Investment Bank has recently backed a new wave of anaerobic digestions plants, seeing the potential the industry has to cut waste while securing energy supply.
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