Green power from poultry manure
Green energy technology business ENER-G in the UK is using poultry power to help a chicken farm become more eco-friendly and create a new income stream.
Great Ynys Farm, Hereford, has 125 acres of arable land and 90,000 chickens. Salford-based ENER-G has installed an anaerobic digestion unit to convert chicken litter into biogas for renewable electricity and heat generation.
The green electricity generated by ENER-G will power the poultry houses, with a 90 per cent surplus sold to the National Grid.
Waste heat is also captured to warm the chicken houses. Previously, propane gas was used. The ENER-G system, which will also take slurry from neighbouring dairy farms, will generate enough energy to power 450 homes when it goes live on August 1, and is expected to pay for itself within a year.
A by-product of the process is an organic fertiliser that will feed the farm’s maize crop. The farm currently uses its poultry litter as a fertiliser but the new system will eliminate methane losses to the environment.
Farmer Susan Shakesheff said “We are proud to be at the forefront of the move to anaerobic digestion, and to improve our sustainability, and energy self-sufficiency while securing a new income stream. “We are able to find a superior alternative for utilising our chicken litter and are helping neighbouring dairy farmers to recycle their cattle slurry.
“ENER-G provide us with a modem link to their 24/7 monitoring operations, giving us full visibility of system performance and efficiency data.”
Scott Tamplin, business development manager for ENER-G, said: “The government claims anaerobic digestion could produce 7.5 per cent of the UK’s renewable power by 2020 and I would urge farmers and landowners to consider the commercial benefits, while helping to hit national targets on carbon emission reductions.”