Irish renewable energy company Biocore has delivered its first ‘gas to grid’ facility in the UK. The plant, which is located near Beccles in Suffolk, is set to fuel thousands of local homes with gas made from home-grown crops.
Built and operated by Bray-based BioCore Environmental, the £15m plant uses anaerobic digestion to turn locally-grown break crops, such as maize, into sustainable gas. The gas will fuel up to 7,000 properties in winter and up to 120,000 properties in summer through the National Grid’s gas network.
Biocore said it will connect at least five further projects to the UK network in the next few years. The company also has plans to build its first Irish green gas project in Roscommon.
“We are delighted to have delivered this significant gas to grid plant with National Grid,” said Biocore managing director, Peter Carey. “This plant will provide a number of benefits to farmers in the region whilst contributing significant renewable energy to the local and national grid. It is one of the most efficient uses of biogas and reduces reliance on imported fossil gas, thus contributing to meeting the UK’s renewable energy and climate change targets whilst improving energy security.”
“Biogas, made from crops and other biomass, can make a significant contribution to keeping energy supplies secure, affordable and green,” said Richard Court, head of stakeholder delivery at National Grid. “We’re committed to working with customers like Biocore to connect their projects to our gas network and ensure we can all benefit from alternative forms of energy like this.”
The project also provides a market for farmers to sell their break crops, which are planted between other crops to help keep the land healthy and fertile. As a by-product, the anaerobic digestion process also produces a valuable organic fertiliser.
Established in 2010, BioCore focuses on the three main business areas of renewable energy, sludge management and R&D. The company is at various stages of development on five major renewable energy projects. Its current R&D activity is the development of a treatment solution for landfill leachate, which will be rolled out in the UK and Ireland in the second half of 2015.