Harper Adams University College Anaerobic Digestion Facility is an award winning renewable energy development in Shropshire. Operated under the name Harper Adams Energy, the anaerobic digester generates biogas derived from food waste originating from the surrounding area. The plant was officially opened by Lord Taylor of Holbeach CBE, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State on the 12th January 2012.
The main contractor and designer of the facility is the British anaerobic digestion specialist BiogenGreenfinch. The facility is one of three flagship plants that were funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s ‘Revolving Green Fund’. Not only does the digestion facility divert biodegradable waste from landfill; it also produces renewable power in the form of electricity and heat. In parallel it provides a soil improver that is used to offset carbon intensive chemical fertilisers. The facility takes a variety of source-segregated food wastes which are pasteurised in a combined heat and power configuration using the heat from the GE Jenbacher biogas engine. The facility currently generates 499kWe of renewable electricity and is able to claim benefit under the feed-in-tariffs programme. There are also plans to supply the university campus with surplus heat via a district heating scheme.
The facility has won a number of high profile awards including Renewable Energy Facility of the Year & Best Use of Biogas at the Renewable Energy Infrastructure Awards 2011 and the Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development at the Times Higher Education Awards 2011. Paul Moran was named Energy Manager of the Year at the Energy Institute’s Environment and Energy Awards 2011.