Farmer creates mini power plant in West Yorkshire


A farmer in West Yorkshire is converting waste food into electricity.

Neil Gemmel has built a 400kW-capacity plant on his farm near Emley to generate enough electricity to power up to 650 homes.

It uses anaerobic digestion (AD) technology which breaks down food into gas which is then burnt to produce heat and electricity.

Energy will be sold back to the National Grid through the Feed in Tariff (FiT) system.

Mr Gemmel built the system, which cost £1.6m, to diversify from rearing cattle and arable farming. He expects to generate an income of £400,000 a year.

He said: "The plant is extremely efficient, using a mixture of crops and food waste that would otherwise have been sent to landfill.

"The digestate produced as a by-product of the plant is an excellent fertiliser and will be used on our farm as an alternative to artificial fertilisers."

"We expect to get a return in five years time."

It has been designed by the not-for-profit company, CO2Sense, who have invested £600,000 in the plant.

Designers said it will save an estimated 3,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide and will process around 2,000 tonnes of food waste every year.

There are currently about 20 similar initiatives across the UK.