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Scottish Borders Council is implementing a renewable-energy project that will create enough electricity to power more than 1,000 homes while cutting annual carbon emissions by around 30,000 tonnes.

The project, at Easter Langlee Waste Disposal site near Galashiels, Scotland, takes away the local authority’s burden of controlling and disposing of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide.

At the same time it has the capacity to generate up to 1.0MW of clean power for the National Grid.

Manchester-based sustainable-power group Ener-G designed, developed and financed the landfill-gas generation scheme.

The 15-year contract could create a significant income for Scottish Borders Council and cost savings in infrastructure at the site.

The savings in carbon-dioxide emissions are equivalent to the council planting three million trees.

Hugh Richmond, managing director of Ener-G Natural Power, said: ‘The council is effectively turning a liability into an asset and the income will depend on electricity output.

‘We will be using two engines with a total rated capacity of 800kW minimum and this capacity may be increased if there is sufficient gas production.

‘The project is funded entirely by Ener-G and we will pay a portion of the electricity generation revenue to the council, which does not need to get involved in major capital spending or extensive maintenance work, because we do all that.

‘A further benefit to the council is Ener-G’s ‘hire fleet’ approach, which means if there is a greater amount of gas generated, then we are obliged to install the correct size of engine to meet the gas production, thus maximising generation potential.’ The site has been capped with plastic to prevent methane escaping into the atmosphere and wells have been drilled to transfer gas to a compact generator unit, where the electricity-conversion process takes place.

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