Lower Park Farm Co-operative has been established through the efforts of a small, committed group of like-minded people to enable the development of an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility on Lower Park Farm, Rossett.
Like all organic waste materials, farm animal slurry still contains a huge amount of energy. This energy can be extracted in the form of methane gas in an anaerobic digester. This energy is free, sustainable, and green.
Lower Park Farm Co-operative Directors
The initial board comprises:
Co-owner of Lower Park Farm
Wife to Richard and co-owner of Lower Park Farm
Owner of Tyn-y-coed Farm, Northop
Son of Richard and Sadie and next in line to take responsibility for the running of Lower Park Farm
Together with their associates, the Lower Park Farm Co-operative Directors bring together a wealth of skills and experience in the sectors of renewable energy, engineering, agriculture, social enterprise and funding. They share a commitment to creating a project that delivers social, environmental and financial benefits to the community for decades to come.
Additional Board members will be sought from the Co-operative’s membership. The Co-operative Board members give their services free of charge.
How AD works
The AD process provides the perfect environment for the micro-organisms (which naturally occur in animal slurry) to convert energy into methane gas. The gas is captured and stored prior to being burnt through a biogas engine to produce electricity and heat. The material left over after the digestion process is termed ‘digestate’. This can be separated into liquid and solid forms, both of which are valuable nutrient-rich natural fertilisers.
The Holt-based company Fre-energy will supply its award-winning Anaerobic Digester (AD) for the project at Lower Park Farm. The company’s unique technology, for which it holds a number of world patents, is the first in the world to be able to continuously process wastes which contain grit, sand and soil, making it ideal for application in a farm environment.
Fre-energy’s AD plant at Lodge Farm, Holt, has been producing energy by processing around 25-30 tonnes of farm slurry and 6 tonnes of chicken litter 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, since 2009. The digester has the capability to be fed solely on animal slurry, manure, and litter. These feedstocks are freely available on the farm, and so no additional feedstocks are required to be grown or purchased. Consequently, Fre-energy AD plants provide a significantly higher financial return than other digesters.
This plant has provided long-term evidence of the reliability and efficiency of the Fre-energy technology, and also the amount of energy and thus income generated by the plant. It is this AD plant on which Lower Park Farm Co-operative’s financial model has been based.
For a more detailed explanation of the AD process and of Fre-energy’s award winning technology, please visit the company’s website at www.fre-energy.co.uk.
Site plan of the AD plant at Lower Park Farm
COWS-Hub has been established as a management services company to facilitate the set-up and administration of this and future
Co-operatives. The purpose of these Co-operatives is to fund AD projects for the benefit of all concerned, as well as the local environment.
Fact: If the remainder of the 21st century unfolds like its first decade, we will soon experience climate extremes well outside the boundaries of human experience, ever since agriculture was first developed. (Source: International Panel for Climate Change).