Visit Cannington Cold Store – 16th April 2010

 

Tim Roe, director of Cannington Cold Stores welcomed a large group of members.  All were keen to explore how the business was now able to generate its own power!

He said: “It all started one day when we renewed our energy contract. In four years the price had gone up 72 per cent, it is a huge price and cost to the business from week to week.

“We went to Germany where there are lots of biogas plants and realised it seemed silly to pay for electricity when we could make it and keep it in house.”

Price was the main driver to build the plant, as electricity was the only cost, which was out of Mr Roe’s control and he said he was ‘delighted’ to be able to do something about it.

The planning process for the plant took over a year and there were some initial objections from locals who were concerned about odours and the affect in the surrounding area.  In fact,  there is  no odour, the system is an anaerobic one so if air is getting in or out it is not working to its optimum.

The plant produces around 500kW per year, with 300kW used in the cold stores and the rest going to the National Grid.

The energy is generated by yogurt residue from Yeo Valley, based less than a mile away, and from fruit juice residue from Gerber Juice, who are in nearby Bridgwater.

The plant will also take feedstock – maize and grass silage – from the family arable farm and from other farms close by, and Mr Roe said the ROC system meant the plant could ‘stand up’ financially.   

Following the visit the members went onto Blackmore Farm for a feast of a lunch.