We found the following points made in the Wight Farm Energy Press Release reproduced here, to be of particular interest:
- The most formidable challenge that had to be overcome during the construction period was the long-delayed decision of the DECC (Department Of Energy and Climate Change) over the RHI (Renewable Heat Initiative) for AD and Gas to Grid injection. The root cause of that delay would not have been the civil servants at DECC. It would have been due to the conflicting views held within the UK's coalition government (2010 to 2015), with many within the Conservative Party wanting to scrap or severely limit any government incentives like the RHI which supports the development of renewable energy.
- We are informed that the new anaerobic digestion plant has been designed to fit in with the local environment. Now achieving that without incurring a lot of extra costs will have been quite difficult given the large tanks and gas holders needed for all biogas plants. It will be interesting to see the final images to see how this has been achieved.
Wight Farm Energy and Schmack's, IoW Biogas Plant Construction Progress Report
PRESS RELEASE: 9 January 2015. London: The historic and picturesque holiday destination of the Isle of Wight (population 140,000) is set soon to benefit from its inaugural biogas plant. By spring 2015 the new facility promises to deliver England’s largest island (just off the south coast) with the very best in renewable energy technology.
Schmack Biogas UK Ltd (part of the Viessmann Group), in partnership with Wight Farm Energy is on course to complete the plant (at Gore Cross, Arreton, just west of the centre of the island). The facility is configured for an output of five megawatts of gas power, with a 250 kW combined heat and power unit to supply its own energy demand. In contrast to conventional AD plants, biogas produced at this first Isle of Wight facility will be processed into biomethane, which has the same quality as natural gas.
This will enable it to be fed into the island's existing gas network. 4.25 million standard cubic metres of biomethane will be produced from renewable raw materials comprising mainly of maize silage, grass silage, whole crop silage and agricultural wastes.
The project helps some of the Isle of Wight’s largest farm holdings to secure a future from unprofitable break crops, which are secondary crops grown to interrupt the repeated sowing of cereals as part of crop rotation.
Designed to fit in with the local environment by way of a cut and fill construction, the Schmack Biogas AD plant will utilise its robust mixing technology, which enables the plant to be flexible in regards to the range of inputs. At the end of the fermentation and gas upgrading process, the plant produces biomethane for grid injection (to be used as energy and heat where needed), electricity for internal consumption – and also fertiliser as separated soil residue for farmland.
As well as its successes in Germany, Schmack’s proven track record in sustainable AD plants also includes its installation at Stoke Bardolph, just outside Nottingham. Here, maize silage, sugar beet and whole plant silage are utilised for a 3 x 1063 kWel (Kilowatt Electric) system that generates electrical and thermal energy for the neighbouring sewage treatment plant operated by Severn Trent Water.
Schmack’s robust experience in this renewable project technology field stretches back almost two decades. The company provides complete services in project development and plant construction, as well as servicing and operational management. The company also provides a comprehensive microbiological service.
Michael Groth, Head of Sales at Schmack Biogas, commented:
“There are some extra logistics involved with the Gore Cross project being on the Isle of Wight, but the most formidable challenge encountered during the construction period has been the very prolonged decision of the DECC (Department Of Energy and Climate Change) over the RHI (Renewable Heat Initiative) for AD and Gas to Grid injection. However, the project teams are now firmly underway and all pulling in the right direction to bring about this historic installation. We believe IT will demonstrate exemplary efficiencies that the Isle of Wight can be proud of. Wight Farm Energy is an association made up of seven landowners and a producer and trade group for cereals.They are an ideal partner for us with their active involvement and knowledge of the island and its agriculture”.
“By upgrading the gas and feeding it into the natural gas grid, it is utilised where it can be done so most efficiently and effectively. It is also removes the dependency on fossil fuel by using renewable input materials and agricultural waste that would otherwise be going to landfill”.
This latest installation by Schmack, follows its contract to design and build a new 2000 Nm3/h processing plant just south of Stockholm. The development (in early 2015) will see the Swedish capital increase its proportion of biomethane by 50 per cent, utilising Schmack Carbotech’s innovative Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) principle to help produce biofuel in vehicles powered by natural gas.
The Viessmann Group is one of the leading international manufacturers of heating systems. Founded in 1917, the family business maintains a staff of approximately 10,600 employees and generates 1.89 billion Euro in annual group turnover. With 24 production divisions in 11 countries, subsidiaries and representations in 74 countries and 120 sales offices around the world, Viessmann is an internationally orientated company. Schmack Biogas is one of the leading German suppliers of biogas plants. The company was founded in 1995 and has been part of the Viessmann Group since January 2010. It provides services in the areas of project development and plant construction, as well as servicing and operational management, under the brands Schmack, BIOFerm and Carbotech, making it one of the few complete service providers in the sector. In addition to technical support, the company provides a comprehensive microbiological service.