Council gives green light to new anaerobic digester in Ramsey

Huntingdonshire District Council

Huntingdonshire District Council - Credit: Archant

Planning permission has been granted for a new energy-producing anaerobic digester in Ramsey Heights.

Thomas Bedford has been given the green light by planning officials at Huntingdonshire District Council to build the digester at Bury Lane Farm.

Anaerobic digesters allow the breakdown of organic matter into carbon dioxide, methane and water, by microorganisms, in an oxygen-free environment.

The gas that is produced is then burned to produce heat and electricity, while the left over organic matter can be used as a fertiliser.

In planning documents submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council, agents acting for Mr Bedford, Evergreen Gas, said: “The proposed facility will be situated central to the existing farm complex. It will operate 24 hours a day.

“The digester feed hoppers will be loaded every morning using farm style loading equipment. The pumps and loading system will automatically operate intermittently day and night.

The CHP will run continuously at a noise level of 65dBa at 10m.”

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According to planning documents, the digester could use 2,600tonnes of rye together with 2,120tonnes of maize silage, along with 20tonnes of dilution water, annually.

The facility would, according to the applicant, “generate 1,972,000kWh of electricity annually” – which is enough to power almost 600 homes. The applicant also says that the facility could save more than 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

The power generated will be used to offset electricity usage at the farm, with any excess being sold back to the National Grid.

The applicant added: “The anaerobic process also produces a constant supply of heat as a by-product. The applicant is already investigating ways to utilise this heat in his existing business, including in his farm house.”

Approving the plans, district council planning official Laura Nuttall said she was satisfied that the facility would not “have a detrimental impact upon the amenities of neighbouring properties in terms of noise or odour”.