UU trials crops to create renewable energy
United Utilities (UU) is trialling energy crops at its Leigh Wastewater Treatment Works to generate renewable energy as well as help control costs for customers. To get more use out of its land, UU has planted willow and maize on a small area of the treatment works.
The company said willow trees grow very quickly and, once dried, the wood can be sold as fuel for biomass boilers. Maize can be digested and used to generate biogas, which in turn can be used as fuel to generate renewable electricity and heat.
Sian Taylor, UU's business growth strategy manager, said: “Around the region we’ve got plenty of land that’s potentially suitable, and we’ve got the fertiliser in the form of the biosolids that are produced by the treatment process.
“We started the trial at Leigh earlier this year to see if the crops would take to our land, and if they did, whether the growth patterns were normal. We brought in the expertise of a contractor who grows energy crops on his own farm to identify the most suitable locations.
“The maize has been doing well but we’ve had some problems with fast-growing weeds affecting the willows. It’s a learning curve and we’re picking up some good lessons on how we can improve.”
The team is now going to plant more willow at another trial site over the coming months to see if their revised approach will be successful. If it is, UU hopes to roll the scheme out to other suitable sites.
- Leakage targets increase in draft determinations Several water companies now have increased leakage reduction targets for AMP7, with Thames Water facing a challenge to... Read More >
- Planning green light given for Ringsend upgrade Planning permission has been granted for the upgrade of Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant near Dublin, Ireland's largest... Read More >
- Costain JV selected by Southern Water as AMP7 partner Costain and its existing joint venture partner MWH Treatment have been selected by Southern Water to extend the AMP6... Read More >
- Where there's muck, there’s brass Tim Broadhurst, CCO of CooperOstlund, on utilising sewage and sludge as a renewable energy feedstock and how to maximise... Read More >
- Going green at Severn Trent's Minworth STW With a £60 million investment aimed at producing 30 per cent more green energy from its largest sewage treatment works,... Read More >
- Veolia putting efficiency into effect As part of Anglian Water's Energy Efficiency and Optimisation framework, Veolia is using its global experience to assist... Read More >
- Finding value in liquid waste streams Matt Hale, international sales and marketing director at HRS Heat Exchangers, looks at how value can be extracted from... Read More >
- Innovation Zone: Boosting biogas production Regulatory changes mean that now is a good time for technologies that can help boost biogas production from sludge. Here... Read More >