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Hereford-based Great Ynys Farm has announced plans to use an anaerobic-digestion (AD) system from Ener-G to convert chicken litter into biogas for renewable electricity and heat generation.

The green electricity will power the poultry houses and AD system, with a 90 per cent surplus sold to the National Grid, while the captured waste heat will provide warmth for the chicken houses — displacing fuel oil and propane gas.

The farm’s new green-power company, Ynergy, contracted Ener-G and biogas plant manufacturer PlanET Biogastechnik for project delivery; ground works were carried out by local contractor JJ Stanley and concrete-tank construction by Yorkshire-based company Galglass; while Triangle supplied the low-voltage electrical Panel.

Plans are in place to convert the heating system in the farm’s broiler houses within the next few months to utilise heat from the biogas-generation process.

The AD system will have capacity to process 700 tonnes of poultry litter and 1,000 tonnes of cattle slurry, mixed with 3,000 tonnes of maize silage per annum. 

Key specifications

  • Use of maize reduces nitrogen levels in the digestion process and prevents the build-up of high concentrations of ammonia
  • The Ener-G combined heat and power system will provide 250kW of electricity, sufficient to power 450 homes, and 200kW of heat
  • Will qualify for financial payments from the government’s Feed in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive programmes — providing 14 pence per kW on all electricity generated and 6.5 pence per kW for the captured heat that is used on site
  • The digestion process produces a residue of 5,000m2 of odourless organic liquid fertiliser that will be injected into the soil to provide an enhanced nutrient source for the maize crop
  • Methane losses to the environment during spreading will be eliminated
  • Poultry litter store has been created to protect the AD feedstock from the elements and prevent the risk of nitrate run-off and leaching into the soil

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