‘Energy farm’ bosses move to reassure residents

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AN ‘energy farming’ company has this week moved to reassure residents over its plans for a £4 million Anaerobic Digestion (AD) power plant in St Michaels.

If Farmgen gets the go-ahead, the plant at Moss House Farm will generate enough energy to power more than 1,500 homes.

And this week, Blackpool-based Farmgen reassured nearby residents that the plant uses crops such as maize and grass grown in the fields nearby to create energy – and that any fears over the use of slurry, sewage, sludge and food waste are unfounded.

AD uses specially-designed vessels to turn locally grown crops into biogas and, subsequently, electricity.

The residue from this process is a bio-fertiliser, which is returned to the land to help grow the following season’s maize crop.

The bio-fertiliser has significantly less odour than slurry, which is traditionally used for muck-spreading on fields, and also provides superior nutrient release into the soil.

Residents are being encouraged to learn more and see the plans for themselves at an open day at the farm next Wednesday, December 7.

It will give residents and farmers considering a move into energy farming the chance to learn more about the development, which Farmgen argue will give a much-needed boost to the rural economy.

The development would play a major part in Farmgen’s £30million UK expansion plan.

The company already has one flagship plant up and running in Lancashire, with more in the pipeline for the county and across the UK.

Moss House, a 320-acre farm, has recently been bought by prominent Lancashire businessman and landowner Simon Rigby in a £2.2million deal.

He is one of the founders of Farmgen and has pioneered farm-based AD power generation in the UK – including Farmgen’s first operational plant at Carr Farm in Warton, near Preston.

The Moss House Farm plant, if approved by Wyre councillors, would use crops from local fields, converting them to electricity to be supplied to the National Grid. It would generate 1.2MW of electricity.

Farmgen’s inaugural AD operation at Warton was officially switched on earlier this year and is now generating 800kW of electricity – the equivalent of powering more than 1,000 homes.

The company is looking to have 10 state-of-the-art AD plants up and running by 2015 .