Feeding the Grid

Selby Renewable Energy Park has been granted planning permission by North Yorkshire County Council to build the UK’s largest anaerobic digestion plant.

Using anaerobic digestion technology, the plant will generate 8MW of energy and will have a capacity to treat 165,000 tonnes of food waste per year, which would otherwise have been sent to landfill sites.

The facility will have a pre-treatment hall that will allow all forms of packaged food waste from supermarkets, food processors, local authorities and caterers to be processed.

The £20m project will create 120 new jobs for the town, 40 directly and an additional 80 jobs indirectly. The project will also generate enough energy to power 10,800 homes for a year, or the whole of Selby.

The plant, which will occupy eight acres of the former Tate & Lyle Citric Acid Plant in the south of the town, will provide a potential low-cost heat source for use by local businesses.

An anaerobic digester already exists on the site that is currently being updated and the proposal is to build two new anaerobic digesters. All the electricity generated would be sent via the site’s existing power connection to the National Grid.

The proposal has already won the support of the government-backed Future Energy Yorkshire, the organisation set up to help promote renewable energy projects in Yorkshire and Humber.

Shaun Flynn, business development manager, said: We’re delighted to have been granted planning permission to build the UK’s largest anaerobic digestion plant. We will now be able to commence construction in September and the plant will become operational in 2010.’