Cheese power: Plant in the lake district to generate green energy from Cumbrian cheese

Jessica Morris
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The plant will churn out 1,000 metres cubed of biogas each hour (Source: Getty)

A British company has come up with the un-brie-leavable idea of generating green energy from old cheese making waste.

The £10m project in Cumbria, commissioned by British company Clearfleau and built for Lake District Biogas, will operate for 20 years, using waste from dairy company First Milk's nearby Aspatria creamery site.

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When the plant hits full capacity later this Spring, it will treat 1,650 cubed metres of cheese processing waste and generate around five mega-watts of thermal energy.

The edam good idea will also churn out 1,000 metres cubed of biogas each hour, of which over 80 per cent will be upgraded for injection into the national grid - a move which sounds like a Gouda plan.

It'll produce annual cost savings and revenue of £3m, while supplying up to 25 per cent of the creamery’s energy requirements.

This is the first on-site anaerobic digestion plant in the dairy industry in Europe to feed bio-methane to the gas grid, generating exclusively by digesting its cheese making residues.

"This project, generating biogas solely from creamery residues is based on British engineering and is transforming the way in which the dairy industry manages its residues," Craig Chapman, chief executive of Clearfleau Limited, said.

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"This shows how sustainability can be an integral part of our food supply chain. We are looking at other dairy projects as more companies realise the energy potential of their residues.”

Gordon Archer, chairman of Lake District Biogas added: "Completion of this £10m project on time, given the weather conditions in Cumbria this winter, has been a major achievement for the project team and Clearfleau.