Potato power

Plans to build an anaerobic digestion plant that converts waste potatoes into electricity have been given the go ahead as part of a £1.4m investment in green technology.



Plans to build in Lincolnshire an anaerobic digestion plant that converts waste potatoes into electricity have been given the go ahead as part of a £1.4m investment into green technology.


Branston, a supplier of potatoes to Tesco, will use the plant alongside a waste-water management system that it claims will save it 40 per cent on electricity and 60 per cent on water, as well as taking one HGV load of waste off the road each day.


The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), which is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the European Union, has awarded a grant of £568,000 for the construction of the plant, which is due to begin next month.


Once complete, the anaerobic digestion plant is expected to produce 300kW of electricity.


It is the latest investment in the company’s environmental strategy, which aims to reduce utility costs and its use of fossil fuels.


Mark Willcox, development director for Branston, said: ‘We will be using outgrade potatoes, which are unfit for consumption, to produce a significant amount of electricity and in doing so become one of the first food producers in the UK to harness such innovative and environmentally friendly technology.


‘As well as being incredibly efficient, the anaerobic digestion plant is also safe, quiet and odourless.


‘The combined heat and power plant will be complemented by the water-recycling plant, which will considerably reduce our mains water consumption and ensure we maximise efficiencies throughout our two factories on site.’