The UK’s first commercial scale gas-to-grid AD plant has been opened by Prince Charles with investment from his Duchy of Cornwall estate.
J V Energen is a joint venture between local farmers, the Duchy of Cornwall and Active Business Partnerships.
The plant began operating in March generating 10MW a day. The first injection of biomethane into the grid began on 11 October.
It treats 24,000 tonnes of maize, 10,000 tonnes of grass, 4,000 tonnes of potato waste per year and around one tonne of waste chocolate and muesli each week.
It is located near to the village of Poundbury in Dorset, which is an urban extension to Dorchester and is backed by the Duchy of Cornwall using a vision of architecture provided from the Prince of Wales.
The opening of this new facility has been backed by the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association.
Chief executive Charlotte Morton said: “The UK’s first commercial scale gas-to-grid plant is an exciting development, demonstrating the ability of the AD industry to deliver large volumes of green gas into the grid for use today.
“Biomethane – one of the few sources of truly low carbon and renewable gas – is strategically important for the UK economy and energy markets, delivering on the Government’s key objectives for both energy security and economic growth.
“AD had the potential to generate £2 to £3 billion worth of green gas, equivalent to more than 10 per cent of the UK’s domestic gas demand, and support 35,000 jobs.
“The Poundbury plant demonstrates that biomethane to grid technology works at commercial scale now. With 10 more plants scheduled to come online in the next 12 months, biomethane from AD should be recognised as the serious commercial energy proposition that it is.”
Energy Networks Association chief executive David Smith added: “This is a very positive step towards greater use of green gas, an important part of an affordable low carbon future.
“ENA, Scotia Gas Networks and the rest of our members support the use of biomethane injection but it is still essential that barriers faced in many projects like Poundbury across the country are removed. Challenges such as gas and waste regulation risk stunting this area of growth and we need to see a minister responsible to provide a controlling mind that will resolve them and ensure momentum after this project.”