Anaerobic Digestion Plant set to produce sufficient energy to support up to 2,500 households.

31 August 2021

A planning application for the retention of an Anaerobic Digestion Plant ("AD plant") has been approved by Forest of Dean District Council. On behalf of Plusterwine Biogas Ltd, the Ridge planning team secured permission for the AD plant and associated infrastructure which is situated on land at Plusterwine House, Station Road, Woolaston. In addition to planning, Ridge also provided transportation services.

The farm has a beef rearing business and grows crops to feed the cattle for use in the AD plant and for resale to outside businesses.

The approved AD plant is a diversification business, which produces renewable energy in the form of 1MW of electricity over a year that is sold to the National Grid combined with 2,000KW of heat produced from the AD process. This heat is used to provide drying services to make animal bedding from waste-paper pulp and to dry the farm’s Maize to use as bedding under their Beef Cattle. The AD plant recycles nutrients on the farm, creating an economically and environmentally sustainable food production system in the local area.

The proposed scheme, which consists of the construction of three circular silos, resulted in a large number of representations, both in support and against the scheme. There were a number of considerations to be addressed by Ridge including traffic movements, noise, odour, character and appearance of the building, impact on heritage assets and ecology. Ridge led a team of technical consultants to address these issues overseeing the production of a number of technical reports including an ecological assessment, habitats regulations assessment, noise assessment and odour assessment. These were supported by an odour management plan, an air quality impact assessment and a landscaping plan.

The AD currently produces energy which could support up to 2,500 households. Those will no longer need to be reliant on energy from solid fuels.

Guy Wakefield who led the application confirmed; “This was an extremely exciting and rewarding project to work on. The AD plant offers a range of benefits the most obvious being its function in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By capturing methane gas that may have otherwise been lost to the atmosphere, AD operations displace fossil fuel energy use. This contributes to climate change mitigation and is notably beneficial in all AD technology use scenarios.”