An innovative renewable energy project by Blackburn-based Neales Waste Management group will create green electricity.
The initiative will create enough electricity to power 700 homes, while cutting annual carbon emissions by the equivalent of around 30,000 tonnes, equal to the environmental benefit of three million trees.
The project, at Clayton Hall Landfill Site near Chorley, started operation in June. It will capture methane gas produced from the landfilled waste and convert it into clean electricity that will be fed into the National Grid.
Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide.
Neales have entered into a partnership with Manchester-based ENER-G Natural Power Limited which will utilise its specialist biogas generation technology to convert the methane into a minimum of 1136kW of renewable electricity.
Howard Rushton, Operations Director for Neales Waste Management said: ‘We are committed to sourcing safe and environmentally friendly power alternatives and to continually reduce the energy used on Site.
"We decided after much research in this subject to partner with the market leaders in this field of technology.
"ENER-G’s ground-breaking scheme not only provides us with green energy but allows Neales to play its part in reducing the local environment’s carbon footprint, while also addressing global warming and climate change."
The facility has been granted a permit modification by the Environment Agency who regulates the activity Hugh Richmond, Managing Director of ENER-G Natural Power, said: "We will be using 1150kW equipment as a minimum and Neales will effectively be turning a liability into an asset.
"The project is funded entirely by ENER-G and we will pay royalties to Neales, which avoids major capital expenditure. We are also responsible for maintaining the generator."
The level of methane extracted will vary over the 15-year lifespan of the project, so ENER-G is operating a ‘hire fleet’ approach, which means that a larger generator can be switched for a smaller one as demand fluctuates.
Partial capping in the older areas of the site will 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.
"The system involves an innovative application of tried-and-tested technology, which is why we can guarantee minimum service levels to Neales Waste Management," added Hugh.