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Veolia Serves Up Biogas at Cannington Cold Stores

15 January 2015

Veolia has installed a 2MW biogas CHP, which adds to four existing 324kW CHPs it had already successfully installed at Cannington Cold Stores’ 45,000 tonne Bridgwater site in Somerset.

The biogas solution from Veolia, which is fuelled by waste food, goes a significant way to helping the chilled food storage company improve its environmental impact and to achieve energy saving targets. 

The new 2MW biogas CHP at Cannington Cold Stores has been supplied by Cogenco, Veolia’s package CHP team, and will increase the generation of electricity by burning biogas. This is derived from waste food, which is processed through an anaerobic digester. Surplus electricity is exported to the grid under Cannington Cold Stores’ Feed In Tariff (FITs).  The excess heat from the CHPs is then used to feed the digesters to run the biogas generation process. 

Cannington Cold Stores serves a number of food producers by storing and stock managing a range of foodstuffs in climate controlled conditions - including cheese, fruit, fruit juices and meat.  The food is then packed and distributed across the UK and Europe.  The family-owned business provides frozen, chilled and ambient storage down to -25?C. The energy demand in maintaining these temperatures across such a large site means that Cannington Cold Stores needed to look at an onsite solution that would not only improve its carbon emissions but also cut energy costs. 

Unlike conventional power stations, CHPs capture excess heat produced in electricity generation, rather than releasing it wastefully into the atmosphere. CHP systems are highly efficient; by utilising the waste heat they are more than twice as efficient as conventional generation and, as a result, they cut carbon emissions and energy costs significantly. Where there is a large demand for heating and cooling a CHP plant is the ideal solution to cutting energy costs and generating energy in an environmentally responsible way.  
The use of food waste to generate biogas means that landfill is avoided, reducing potential methane damage to the atmosphere. By utilising the waste onsite, transportation to remove it is avoided, cutting emissions from multiple vehicle movements, reducing congestion and limiting vehicle noise.

Cannington Cold Stores saves costs associated with using fossil fuels. The biogas is a carbon neutral fuel that delivers renewable benefits for Cannington Cold Stores, boosting the company’s environmental performance, lowering the carbon footprint and enhancing its corporate responsibility criteria.

Tim Roe, Director of Cannington Cold Stores said: “By installing a 2MW biogas CHP, we have been able to stabilise our unit costs for all electricity consumed. The service that Veolia had previously provided led us to turn to their expertise again, for advice on installing a new system to keep up with our vast energy demands.”


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