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‘Poo power’ generates £1.1 million worth of electricity in three years

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MORE than £1 million worth of energy has been produced from sewage at Bellozanne – as an expert said Jersey can continue to develop power using renewable sources.

David Linsell of Thames Water - an expert on energy and carbon management (25013264)

During a presentation, called ‘Power from Poo’, before the Channel Island Group of Professional Engineers, David Linsell, an expert on energy and carbon management for Thames Water, explained that his company has been producing electricity by burning gas produced by sewage for several years.

Mr Linsell said that 20% of the electricity to power their operations is now generated this way, which is viewed as a renewable power source and has helped save them £22 to £25 million a year.

And while he said that powering the whole Island would need at least 14 million people, he added that Jersey could continue to develop this method.

‘We do it because it gives us the cost for sewage treatment. And electricity from sewage is considered a renewable source of energy,’ he said.

However, Mr Linsell said that this means of electricity generation was limited in its overall potential and a very large amount of sewage would be needed to generate electricity for Jersey’s population of more than 100,000 people.

‘Sewage is something you have an inexhaustible supply of, so the question would be whether you could supply Jersey’s energy entirely from sewage,’ he said.

‘Well, the answer is yes, but you would need 14 to 16 million people to do it.’

Gary Davies, an operations manager at Bellozanne, said that energy-from-sewage facilities in Jersey that were installed three years ago have produced more than £1 million of energy since being introduced.

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‘A new digester site was commissioned in January 2016. This plant biologically treats sewage sludge and produces methane as a useful bi-product,’ he said.

‘This methane is used to power a combined heat and power plant, which is essentially a gas-powered combustion engine. The engine powers a generator to produce electricity, additionally the hot water produced by the engine, which would normally be lost via the radiator is instead used as hot water supply to heat the sludge as part of the digestion process.

‘To date the CHP engine has generated around £1.1 million worth of electricity, which provides some of the power required to power the Bellozanne site.’

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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