Feedstock first claimed for Gloucestershire “grass-to-gas” plant


“GREEN electricity” specialist Ecotricity has announced the successful use of grass as a feedstock for AD, an apparent first.
A proposed plant in Gloucestershire will go into planning later this year, with operation scheduled to come online possibly as early as 2017. The plant would also upgrade the gas for injection into the gas grid.
The firm is confident about feedstock availability, citing the latest Defra figures on UK agriculture which highlight the availability of 8.4 million hectares of marginal land nationwide. At the same time, the amount of grassland used for grazing cattle has almost halved since 1990.
A facility like that proposed – one of the company’s “Green Gas Mills” – would be able to power almost 6,000 homes, “producing gas that is not only carbon neutral but creates wildlife habitats in the process, something the British countryside desperately needs”, according to Ecotricity founder Dale Vince.
The process would also provide financial diversification for the local farmers supplying the grass, while supporting food production and improving land quality.
Speaking to The Guardian, Jonathan Scurlock, renewable energy adviser to the National Farmer’s Union, said the proposal was interesting but that a challenge to the economics of the proposal was its requirement to harvest lots of grass from unproductive land. However he welcomed the arrival of approaches which helped diversify the feedstock sources for AD.