AD plant would make ice cream firm 100% renewable

A planned anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at Scottish ice cream manufacturer Mackie's could save the firm up to £300k a year in energy costs, bolstering it's already impressive renewable energy credentials.

The firm already has three 800kW wind turbines which supply 70% of the firm’s energy needs at its 1,600-acre Aberdeenshire site – as well as exporting 62% of their output to the national grid. A further 50kW of solar panels was added earlier this year, however, an AD plant would reduce reliance on wind or sunshine, allowing the company to power operations using only on-site renewable energy.

Proposed plans, developed in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University’s Biofuel Business Programme, would see a 250kW AD facility built at the company’s dairy farm. The plant would be used to process the slurry produced by its 400 head of cattle, currently used as an agricultural fertiliser, to generate methane biogas, and therefore electricity.

Mackie’s of Scotland finance director Gerry Stephens said: “Part of Mackie’s vision is to be the greenest company in Britain. We are always looking for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and improve the environment.

“We have identified that a 250kW AD plant would be about the right size for the business and we are investigating possible feedstock in addition to slurry. The benefit would be an on-demand renewable energy source where we could run the AD engine and produce electricity when we need it. This would complement our existing renewable energy sources.”

Click below for a video about Mackie’s wind power generation:

Will Parsons

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