30 September 2016
Today we have announced successful completion of G59 (first electricity supply to grid) at our two latest Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities; securing their tariffs for the next 20 years. The two new plants in South Wales and North London will strengthen the network of food waste facilities that Agrivert operate to a total of 5, increasing our total food waste recycling capacity to 250,000 tonnes per annum and our geographical coverage to span Hertfordshire, London and the South East, Oxfordshire and South Wales.
Using food wastes produced by local householders, food manufacturers and retailers we produce a total of 13 MW of renewable electricity which is enough to power approximately 25,000 local homes.
This was a particularly complex year of construction for the business as we simultaneously delivered the construction of our own 2 new facilities, alongside the build of a second AD plant for Severn Trent Water (having built Severn Trent's first food AD facility at Coleshill in 2014).
Recent changes to government policy on renewable energy tariffs meant that all 3 facilities were under pressure to complete construction and achieve G59 in record timing in order to secure any 'feed-in tariff' (FIT) subsidies. In previous years, a business missing a G59 deadline to secure FITs would have suffered a reduction in the amount of tariff that they were eligible to claim. However the government has proposed effectively ending the FIT scheme for any plant producing more than 1MW. The impact of missing the G59 deadline for larger plants is the loss of the right to claim any subsidies making a plant financially unviable.
Instead the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme will cover any new facilities that are built over 1MW in the future. RHI remains viable for gas to grid projects, yet the National Grid provides no guarantees to offtake the gas produced by a plant, thus significantly increasing the level of risk involved and making securing investment far more challenging.
Our new South Wales and North London facilities will provide a cost effective and sustainable outlet for up to 100,000 tonnes of food waste each year, powering 12,000 homes with the electricity produced. Furthermore the nutrient-rich biofertilisers produced by each plant will be used to benefit the surrounding agricultural land in place of petro-chemical derived fertilisers.
Alexander Maddan, CEO Agrivert said, "I am delighted to see us mark our success on this important milestone for the industry and secure the future of our latest AD plants. These facilities are likely to be the last of only a handful of food waste AD plants that remain to be built in the UK under the FIT scheme. Our construction and engineering team have demonstrated tremendous commitment through a busy period; managing 3 separate AD build projects and delivering this latest pair in a record 9 months construction period. Both plants will provide a stable and truly sustainable food waste solution to local communities and businesses alike and we look forward to opening the gates in the coming weeks."