Green Energy plant gives Harper Adams the power

Anaerobic Digester now fully operational

IMG_1395 Harper Adams University College is pleased to announce that its new green energy plant is now fully operational, supplying power to the Shropshire campus.

The anaerobic digestion unit on University College land in Edgmond, near Newport, has passed all necessary tests and been handed over by supplier BiogenGreenfinch.

It is now generating 495kw of electricity from a range of waste streams. Estates Manager Paul Moran explained: “The AD unit will process 15,000 tonnes of farm waste produced across Harper Adams operations along with an additional 8,000 tonnes of food waste sourced from commercial and municipal operations.

“The amount of food waste that is thrown away each year in the UK is staggering. Estimates start at 17 million tonnes and 40% ends up in landfill where it is responsible for half of the greenhouse gas emissions from waste. AD captures the gas and uses it to create renewable electricity, heat and biofertiliser. The biofertiliser from our AD plant will be used on the University College farm.

“By diverting waste from landfill, reducing our need to buy in electricity and gas for power and heating, and providing our own rich fertiliser, it is estimated that the AD plant will offset campus carbon emissions more than three times over.”

The plant, which has already been shortlisted for three national awards and which helped earn Mr Moran the title of The Energy Institute’s 2011 Energy Manager of the Year, was built in conjunction with AD specialists BiogenGreenfinch. Initial funding was supplied by the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Revolving Green Fund, and project partner E.ON Energy.

Richard Barker from BiogenGreenfinch said: “This state of the art plant will deliver three great outcomes: a platform to educate both students and the wider community about the benefits of anaerobic digestion, an additional commercial revenue stream for the University College and, finally, it will generate a significant amount of renewable energy from farm slurry and from food waste that would most likely go to landfill.”

Anyone interested in using the AD plant as an alternative to landfill or other waste disposal methods can visit to find out more.

The Harper Adams AD Plant has been shortlisted for:

  • Times Higher Education Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development Award 2011

  • The Renewable Energy Infrastructure Awards 2011 – Best Use of Biogas

  • The Renewable Energy Infrastructure Awards 2011 – Renewable Electricity Facility Award

Paul Moran was named Energy Manager of the Year at the The Energy Institute’s Environment and Energy Awards 2011.

For more information about Harper Adams, see

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the process of recycling food waste and agricultural waste into renewable fuel to generate electricity and heat. A nutrient rich biofertiliser (digestate) is also produced which can be used back on farm land, ‘closing the loop’ on the use of farm and food wastes. 

For further information on anaerobic digestion please visit

Harper Adams University College is the UK's leading specialist provider of higher education for the rural and land-based industries. Our mission is to deliver higher education and research for the delivery of a sustainable food chain and rural economy. To see how Harper Adams can help you, visit

Source: Harper Adams University College,

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