Landfill gas powers next-door steelworks
The New Crosby Warren landfill (now closed) lies within the boundary of British Steel's site at Scunthorpe. The proximity of the steelworks and landfill site, which is owned and managed by SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, lent itself to a distributed generation scheme via a direct connection between the two sites - a distance of just 200 metres.
To maximise renewable power from landfill gas for local steelmaking.
It is a SUEZ objective to maximise landfill gas recovery and energy generation across our portfolio. Joint projects with local partners can provide greater efficiencies. British Steel is seeking to reduce its exposure to external energy markets and shares our interest in innovative, value-adding energy solutions.
Converting landfill gas into ‘green electricity’
Methane gas from the landfill is extracted via a pipe network and fed to a reciprocating gas engine, which then powers a generator. By converting the gas into electricity, this system both avoids the greenhouse gas emissions from methane and also those that would arise from burning fossil fuels to generate power. It is accredited by Ofgem as a renewable energy generation scheme.
One of the project’s main challenges was ensuring that the generation scheme met the tight electrical controls required by the steelworks’ power network. By working closely together, the partners delivered the scheme within a rapid time frame. Steelmaking powered by this ‘green energy’ began in 2011 and should continue beyond 2021.
Supplying renewable electricity via a private connection over a short distance has several advantages compared with using the national distribution grid:
•Energy lost in transmission is minimised.
•Infrastructure costs are lower.
•The cost of energy to the industrial user can be halved.
Other SUEZ landfill sites have supplied energy directly to neighbouring industrial/manufacturing processes. Where this is not possible, landfill gas is converted to electricity and distributed via the mains electricity grid to homes and businesses.
•1.7 MW electrical generating capacity (2MW installed)
•13 GWh annual electrical output
•7,110 tCO2e* estimated annual carbon saving
(Approximate figures as at July 2018)
*Compared with fossil fuel generation and the impact of unconverted landfill gas – assumes 0.0005925 metric tonnes CO2 per kilowatt-hour (kWh); 12 gigawatt-hours (GWh) (=12,000,000kWh) translates to 7,110 tonnes equivalent of CO2 (tCO2e)