Powersystems supports Isle of Wight anaerobic digestion plant

Powersystems supports Isle of Wight anaerobic digestion plant

Powersystems, have completed the commissioning of a private wire to supply renewable electricity between Black Dog Biogas, the owner of an anaerobic digestion plant near Newport on the Isle of Wight to Vestas’ neighbouring wind blade manufacturing facility.

This follows on from Powersystems original involvement in 2016 where they delivered both the grid connection and electrical balance of plant on what was the first Active Network Management (ANM) system to be carried out on SSEN network on the Isle of White.

Powersystems installed the high voltage (HV)  infrastructure at both Black Dog Biogas and Vestas to allow for the interconnection of their 11kV Networks.

Darren Sampson, Project Manager at Powersystems said,

“Powersystems installed, tested and commissioned a Schneider Genie Evo Panel as an extension to Vestas existing infrastructure to enable generated power to be exported from the Black Dog Site.  New high voltage switch gear was installed at the Black Dog site, with motor control to allow Vestas to benefit from either green energy or alternatively via their existing metered connection when the site is under maintenance.

The system is monitored and operated automatically via an Argand Solutions panel which monitors the HV network across both sites.

When the Vestas site has a low demand for energy , the bio gas  plant is able to automatically move their export position to enable them to power directly top the grid.  The changeover over supplies are only anticipated during times that the Vestas  sites is powered down for an annual maintenance. The system is therefore configured to ensure that all other times Vestas will be powered 24/7 by green energy, thus reducing their carbon footprint.

Led by Black Dog Biogas and its manager Earth Capital, the initiative will supply low-carbon electricity to Vestas’ facility. Vestas will use this renewable electricity to manufacture offshore wind turbine blades that will generate low carbon power in wind farms. The project is the first-of-its-kind on the Isle of Wight.

Black Dog Biogas generates sufficient power to supply around 80% of Vestas’ needs, as well as around 1,200 homes on the Isle of Wight.

The anaerobic digestion plant
The Company’s biogas generates renewable electricity through anaerobic digestion, where organic matter, such as maize and grass, in this case 100% sourced from the Isle of Wight, are broken down by enzymes to produce biogas and biofertiliser.

Black Dog uses the biogas as a fuel in two combined-heat-and-power units to generate renewable heat and electricity. The nutrient-rich biofertiliser is spread back onto arable farmland on the Isle of Wight, helping to grow more crops for the Black Dog facility and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

This helps support a circular economy and avoids the use of carbon intensive fertilisers on the Island.

James Luter, Senior Factory Director at Vestas’ Isle of Wight facility said,

“Our plant on the Isle of Wight is strategically important to our growing offshore business. The UK is a world leader in offshore wind and the Government has unveiled ambitious plans to expand capacity further, a vision we wholeheartedly support.

“We’re pleased that we can contribute to a more sustainable future, by now using renewable energy from Black Dog to manufacture our blades.”


Dr Simon Crook, Director of Black Dog and Investment Director of Earth Capital said,

“This is a great opportunity for two neighbouring green businesses to deliver a scheme that both makes environmental and commercial sense. We could not have wished for a better partner with which to deliver this project.

“Collaborations such as this are vital in helping the UK reduce carbon emissions and embrace renewable energy. Biogas is an important part of the low-carbon energy mix and it has the potential to reduce waste to landfill by converting household food waste into energy as well.”

Earth Capital, the manager of Black Dog Biogas, is invested in the project through the firm’s Nobel Sustainability Fund®, a multi-phase, multi-geography fund, which invests across the sustainable and impact private markets, accelerating companies for growth, expansion, and subsequent acquisition.

Harnessing the Green Industrial Revolution
 Last year the UK Government announced a Ten Point Plan to mobilise government investment and to drive job creation to harness the Green Industrial Revolution.

Advancing offshore wind was recognised as a priority within the Ten Point Plan, with the UK setting an ambitious target of quadrupling the country’s offshore wind capacity by 2030.

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Scottish renewable energy park plans include biomass, AD facilities

Scottish renewable energy park plans include biomass, AD facilities

Plans have been unveiled to build a large-scale renewable energy park in northeast Scotland, incorporating biomass and anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities.

The energy park, to be developed by Edinburgh-based Holistic Energy, is designed to deliver 150-200 MW of green energy to supply the Scottish grid, with the capacity to power tens of thousands of homes.

It is estimated that 1,500 jobs will be created to build the park, while a further 250 permanent jobs will be created by the operation. Holistic Energy hopes to commence building in 2023 and be operational by 2026.

The development is earmarked to be built on a purchase 99-acre site close to the existing Peterhead Power Station in Aberdeenshire. It has attracted overseas interest from investment group North China Power Engineering (NCPE), which has pledged £800 million for the build-out phase.

Holistic Energy has completed feasibility and evaluation studies of what will be the UK’s first Holistic Low Carbon Energy Facility. The feasibility study has produced an outline layout of the facility, the range of technologies to be used, and how these will interact.

Concepts include a mixed fuel gasification and biomass plant, a green biodiesel production facility, and an AD plant. These will be housed alongside solar PV, wind energy, and supported by a green hydrogen production facility and large-scale battery storage facilities.

Dr Gen Cannibal, director of Holistic Energy, believes the complex systems approach to engineering a new renewable energy village will showcase and utilise the capabilities of interlinked renewable technologies.

“The facility will have three primary purposes – to produce a local renewable power station in Peterhead which can approach the most commonly-identified barriers to renewable uptake, to form a major R&D facility for new technologies that have reached the marketable stage but have not, as of yet, attained large-scale market application and thirdly, to provide a significant replacement to gas-powered plants in satisfying Scottish electricity demands and, hence, decarbonising the Scottish Economy,” said Cannibal.

“The ambitions for the development of the Renewable Energy Village are to showcase Scotland and the UK as a world leader in energy transition projects and enhance our delivery timeline to low- or zero-carbon energy sources.”

Holistic Energy will work with several partners in the design, civil engineering and construction phases, including Aberdeen-based firms Wood Group and XL Group, Will Rudd Davidson, and Bell Ingram Design.

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Thames Water tenders £70m biogas, biomethane contract

Thames Water tenders £70m biogas, biomethane contract

UK-based Thames Water has gone out to tender with several Lots worth £70 million (€78 million), covering biogas and biomethane.

Thames Water has 25 sites using anaerobic digestion processes, all of which produce more than 800 GWh of biogas. The firm said each site is unique and may require alternative solutions depending on their location, biogas composition, and energy usage.

In April 2019, the organisation pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, underlining its commitment to mitigate climate change. It also set a target of reducing its AMP7 Embodied Carbon Emissions by 25%, compared to AMP6.

The company’s sourcing project covers the funding, supply, installation, operation, and maintenance of upgrading and compressing plants to produce biomethane, which is capable of being transported or injected into the grid. According to the firm, projects delivered under this framework need to not only help Thames Water towards its carbon target, but also ensure that its health and safety record is not compromised.

The contract has been divided into Lots and tenders may be submitted for all Lots. The maximum number of Lots that may be awarded to one bidder is four.

For Lot 1a, Thames Water is seeking suppliers to help it utilise biogas in an “optimum manner”, to improve its environmental performance and maximise the value of the biogas. The company said that depending on the site solution, it may need a combination of upgrading and compressing plants to enable it to transport the biomethane and inject it into the gas grid. Lot 1a covers all requirements, including ancillary equipment, such as grid entry units and basic fuel output.

Biogas produced from its AD plant contains siloxanes, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and methane. Thames Water said it needs an upgrading plant that can handle its biogas composition and its variants and produce biomethane that meets grid specifications.

The firm added that as a main contractor, the supplier will be expected to undertake principal design and principal contractor roles under CDM, and that the purchaser may be Thames Water Utilities Limited or another firm within the Kemble Holding Group, a parent of Thames Water. Lot 1a will be funded by the purchaser.

This lot is primarily aimed at EPC contractors or OEM entities that may be required to undertake the following works:

  • Design plant to maximise efficiency and achieve excellent value for money
  • Source plant from reputable suppliers
  • Undertake works on Thames Water operational sites to allow the existing AD plant to be integrated with the upgrading plant
  • Install upgrading and potentially compressor plant in line with TW process standards and relevant industry standards
  • Conduct commissioning
  • Operate and maintain the system after final handover/commissioning has ended
  • Guarantee a level of availability of the plant and conversion rate for the gas

The agreement value of £17.5 million (€19.5 million) provided in the tender document is a quarter of the estimated value of installing a plant on all 25 sites. Thames Water said it is currently unknown how this value will be split between Lot 1A, 1B and 3, as the funding operation and risk profile will be decided on a project by project basis.

Lot 1B will be funded by a third party. In addition to the scope of works outlined in Lot 1A, the bidder will also be responsible for the funding of the plants and ownership for 10-20 years through a contract and lease for the plant, which will process and enable the off-take of gas to the required specification, with ownership of the gas remaining with Thames Water.

At the end of the contract, the installation ownership would transfer to Thames Water or the installation would be removed. Suppliers would be expected to operate and maintain the facilities for the duration of the contract.

Lot 2 covers the sale of biomethane and requires suppliers to work closely with biogas plant and grid injection to generate and share value achieved. If the supplier is collecting biomethane from the site, it should consider whether storage is required.

Thames Water said the tender process will enable it to award an initial contract under the framework agreement for a specific site, with the opportunity to enter ‘mini competitions’ for other sites during the term of the agreement. It also said it reserves the right to invite Lot 1 and Lot 2 suppliers and/or Lot 3 suppliers to participate in mini competitions, depending on the specific business requirements for each project.

Lot no 3 allows bidders to apply to offer complete solutions for the sites, combining lots 1b and 2, giving bidder responsibility from the digester plant outlet to revenue generation from the sale of biomethane. Thames Water said it is looking to enter into a framework agreement with multiple providers.

The time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate is 22 June at midday. For more information, visit: https://www.thameswater.co.uk/about-us/our-suppliers/procurement

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Fund launched to attract UK students in AD and energy-from-waste sectors

Fund launched to attract UK students in AD and energy-from-waste sectors

New fund launched to attract UK students in AD and energy-from-waste sectors

A new £2,500 (€2,800) prize fund aimed at attracting new talent in the anaerobic digestion (AD) and energy-from-waste (EfW) industries has been launched at the RWM exhibition in Birmingham, UK.

The Energy from Waste Innovation Fund is open to undergraduate and postgraduate university students in the UK completing a dissertation related to EfW or renewable energy technology and engineering.

The winner will receive a prize-fund of £1,000 (€1,120), with the two runners up receiving £750 (€840) each upon completion of their research, as well as 12 months of mentoring with the award founder, Privilege Finance.

Chris Winward, Privilege’s commercial director, said: “We’re keen to support new talent in the renewables and EfW sectors. With a growing focus on developing the UK’s circular economy, new and existing technologies that use waste materials to generate a sustainable source of energy, will become ever more important.

“To make sure the UK is at the forefront of this technology, we need to encourage, attract and retain fresh talent.”

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GAP Organics and Keenan Recycling in AD partnership

GAP Organics and Keenan Recycling in AD partnership

GAP Organics and Keenan Recycling in AD partnership

GAP Organics and Keenan Recycling have partnered to turn food waste into usable gas in the North East of England.

The move is in response to the rising volume of food waste collected in the region and the gas will be used to supply power networks in the North East.

The food waste will be treated at Wardley Biogas, a new anaerobic digestion (AD) plant near Gateshead which is expected to open later this year. Wardley is a joint venture between GAP, renewable energy funding provider Privilege Finance and renewable energy developer EOS DevCo.

Food waste will also be supplied to an existing AD plant at High Hedley in County Durham.

GAP Organics

Keenan Recycling – which expanded into the North East last year – will be working alongside GAP Organics to collect food waste from its commercial clients in the region.

Paul Palmer, managing director of GAP Organics, said: “In these changing times and with businesses taking the time and trouble to offer food for recycling, we have to make sure we put that waste to good use.

“The government’s recent commitment to separate domestic food waste collections in England and Wales is already having an impact as businesses understand this will also become a legal requirement for them too.”

Mr Palmer added that he was keen to work with Keenan Recycling as food waste was at the core of their business. Keenan are Scotland’s largest food waste collection company.

Grant Keenan, managing director at Keenan Recycling, said: “When we launched our food waste collection service in 2010 it was our aim to ensure that people across the UK understood the importance of recycling food waste.

“We want to be able to advise business on how to reduce food waste as well as recycling it correctly and we’re really looking forward to seeing the greener future we can create in the North East with GAP Group.”

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Foresight acquires anaerobic digestion plant portfolio

Foresight acquires anaerobic digestion plant portfolio

Foresight acquires anaerobic digestion plant portfolio

Foresight Group LLP has announced the acquisition of two large scale anaerobic digestion plants (‘AD’) as part of the sale of Strutt & Parker (Farms) Limited.

The Euston and Bay Farm plants are located in Thetford and Newmarket, UK. In combination, the plants will produce around 95 000 MWh of power per annum, which is the energy equivalent of powering 30 000 homes in the UK. Both plants are fully operational with remaining operating lives of 17 and 18 years respectively. On an annual basis, the portfolio will offset approximately 10 700 t of CO2 compared electricity generated from coal. Further investment in the sites will capture all of the CO2 which will be suitable for use in drinks manufacture.

Foresight has established a market leading position in AD having previously invested into 35 greenfield and operational AD plants across the UK and Europe. The transaction is a demonstration of Foresight’s ongoing appetite to aggregate operational AD assets. This acquisition consolidates Foresight’s strong market position in the UK and enables it to continue to export the team’s deep sector experience to Europe, Australia, North America and beyond.

The transaction is a continuation of the partnership between Foresight and Material Change Ltd and its parent company Heathpatch Ltd. As part of the deal, Material Change has entered into long term feedstock supply, digestate offtake, and management and maintenance services contracts, while Heathpatch are equity investors in the projects. Material Change now provides services to 7 AD sites and sources over 250 000 t of waste and grown crop feedstock to the plants and returns 300 000 t of organic matter to land from its composting and AD businesses.

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