Graham’s lodges plans for Fife bioenergy facility

Dairy firm Graham’s The Family Dairy has submitted plans for what it claims will be the first low carbon heat project in Scotland’s dairy industry.

Graham’s lodges plans for Fife bioenergy facility

The proposed plant at the firm’s cheese production facility at the Glenfield Industrial estate in Cowdenbeath is set to generate and distribute bioenergy for onsite heat and power.

Graham’s said the “ground-breaking plans” are in response to the challenges set out by the Scottish Government in its energy strategy and the transition within the dairy sector to zero carbon operational processes.

The project forms part of the flagship Low Carbon Innovation Transition Programme (LCITP) for Heat and Industry and was awarded grant support in 2020 to deliver the proposed development alongside a Skills Development and Information Exchange to support Fife’s Clean Growth Agenda.

The aim is to complete the project by the spring of 2021.

The low carbon effluent treatment plant is an innovative solution to utilising waste residue (whey) from cheese making to produce green heat and electricity, that will be used on the site through a closed pipe network. As part of Graham’s wider green investment plans for business, the proposed development will generate renewable power that will deliver:

  • 80% of the site’s baseload electricity
  • 50% of peak electric load
  • 50% of boiler gas supply
  • 20% reduction in vehicle and traffic flow to and from the site
  • 50% reduction in effluent disposal, a saving of 62.94 kgCO2e/h.

Robert Graham, managing director at Graham’s The Family Dairy, said: “Building a sustainable environment for our next generation is incredibly important to our family. We are actively working to achieve net zero carbon across every area of our business.

“The dairy sector has the potential to lead in the transition to a net zero carbon economy, particularly within the areas of heat and transport. Our plans for the Glenfield dairy in Cowdenbeath will mark a step change in investment within the dairy sector in zero carbon innovation, infrastructure and skills development to accelerate climate adaptation within industry. This builds on our recent investment in a 15 MW solar park on our farmland in the Carse of Stirling as we move our business, at speed and scale, to decarbonise.”

Through consultation with Fife Council, extensive environmental analysis has been undertaken to inform the design, siting, layout and mitigation measures for the project. These assessments which cover air quality, noise, aerosols, transport, landscape, ecology and drainage comply, in full, with technical standards to ensure the development will not impact on public health or neighbouring amenities.

The plant will deliver major benefits for Cowdenbeath and the local environment, with fewer emissions from the site, reduced fossil fuel use and a 20% reduction in movement of HGV trucks to and from site.

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