A 700 acre farm is fuelling an AD plant with its homemade cow pats. The Greenhill farm in Northern Ireland uses grass and animal waste from some 600 cows to fuel the plant, which produces 430 kilowatts of electricity per hour.
After extracting methane from the manure and grass, the gas is then piped into two engines that drive generators while hot water is also produced for drying plant waste, called ‘digestate,’ and to pasteurise milk. Farmers can use the waste as a powerful fertiliser to grow animal feed.
Peter Kindt, the Alfagy chairman, who installed the plant at the farm said: “It is astonishing that more financial support isn’t directed at biogas power plants as they create 8 times more value than other renewable technologies such as wind turbines.”
The plant claim the power making facilties are second to none, boasting energy efficiency of 86%. Mr Kindt said this was crucial: “The deciding factor for the finance of the project was our plant’s world beating efficiency that produced £1.8 million more revenue than the competition. Our payback is simply the fastest in the market.”
The Ardstraw power plant will be the 52nd biogas power plant in the UK and only the second in Northern Ireland.