A consortium led by Swindon based waste to energy plasma gasification specialist, Advanced Plasma Power (APP) has secured £6 million of additional funding under Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition (NIC) to build a facility to produce biomethane from household waste.
Some £5.4 million of funding from the NIC and a further £600,000 from the National Grid will complement £11 million secured from the Department for Transport in September by the consortium.
The company said that the latest grant will be used to build and operate a plant capable of turning residual waste from local homes and businesses into substitute natural gas to be piped into the national gas grid.
The NIC awards funds to projects which demonstrate environmental benefits, cost reductions and security of supply. As well as National Grid and APP, the consortium also includes gas distribution company Wales & West Utilities, clean energy firm Progressive Energy, and CNG Services, a company which provides gas for use in vehicles.
The £5.4 million, together with £600k contributed by National Grid itself, will be used will be used to construct a plant in Swindon, said to be the first of its kind in the world, that will take residual waste and convert it into biomethane, using APP’s Gasplasma technology.
Once operational the facility is expected to divert 7500 tonnes of refuse derived fuel from landfill to produce 1.5m kilos of substitute natural gas annually - enough to fuel 75 heavy goods vehicles or 1500 homes.
APP said that substitute natural gas can be used interchangeably with natural gas in heavy goods vehicles and is significantly less carbon-intensive and polluting than diesel.
Construction of the plant will begin in 2016 and the consortium said that it has already identified local customers for the product and suppliers for the feedstock.
“Biomethane created from household waste offers an environmentally friendly solution to fuel vehicles, homes and businesses,” said Rolf Stein, CEO of Advanced Plasma Power. “This project has a key role to play in providing a renewable, secure and cost effective source of natural gas in line with government policy,” he added.
David Parkin, Director of Network Strategy at National Grid, added: “The funding will allow us to press ahead with the construction of a new state-of-the-art demonstration plant, that will be capable of producing biomethane from household waste.
“We believe biomethane could eventually meet 40% of UK domestic gas demand, with customers benefiting from renewable energy being delivered directly through the gas network,” he concluded.
Government investment could prompt a lead to a quadrupling of the number of biomethane plants in the UK, according to a market report from the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association.
VIDEO: CDM Project Brings Biogas Fuelled Cooking to Nepalese HouseholdsA Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) programme to bring clean-burning cooking stoves fuelled by biogas from the anaerobic digestion of animal wastes to households in is improving health for people in Nepal.
In Austria the University of Vienna has opened a new test facility as part of its on going research into the use of a twin fluidised bed gasification process to recover high value fuels and gases from wastes.