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New Severn Trent food waste plant starts generating power

Severn Trent has started operations at its latest gas-to-grid food waste plant in Roundhill near Stourbridge.

The new facility uses anaerobic digestion to turn food waste from local businesses and other customers that is unfit for human use into clean power.

The site will be able to turn almost 50,000 tonnes of food waste a year into renewable gas that will be injected into the network for use in homes and businesses.

It is Severn Trent’s second food waste anaerobic digestion plant, following on from the success of its existing plant in Coleshill which has been operating since 2015.

Severn Trent’s Chris Jellett explains: “We’re really excited to see the new plant at Roundhill become operational.

“Simply put, we take food that can’t be eaten or used for any other purpose from local businesses and waste management companies and put it into huge vats that effectively digest it, like in your stomach, to produce biomethane which then goes through another process to be converted into gas suitable for injection into the network as a new source of renewable gas.

“The process also makes sure that the food waste doesn’t end up going to landfill, with any packaging that we remove at the plant is sent for further energy recovery.

“We’ve got more than 60 years of experience of turning sewage into clean energy, and we’re now putting that to good use in our food waste plants.”

The Midlands utility has invested heavily in renewable energy in recent years, and now generates a third of its energy through renewable sources. The new Roundhill site has a permit to recycle 48,500 tonnes of packaged and unpackaged food waste a year, while construction work is underway at a third food waste plant at Spondon in Derbyshire.

Jellett added: “The plant will produce enough renewable gas to heat 2,700 homes for a year and enough renewable electricity to power 1,700 homes.

“Renewable energy is a really growing area for us and we currently generate the equivalent of more than a third of the energy we use through renewable sources and have ambitions to increase that to 50% by 2020.”

Author: James Brockett,
Topic: Energy/Water Nexus
Tags: waste , food waste , energy , anaerobic digestion

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