A strong signal from local forces in Solrød who have united in order to establish a unique biogas plant. These were the words from a minister at the opening of the plant.
Both the European Commission and the Danish Government gave much praise when Solrød Biogas A/S was officially inaugurated on Monday morning. On an annual basis the plant will produce approximately ten million m3 of biogas on the basis of local raw materials such as livestock manure from agriculture, seaweed from the beach and residues from the industry. The technology with a unique composition of residues converted into energy may become an international role model.
It took three pairs of scissors before the red ribbon to the plant was cut on Monday morning. Together with Niels Hörup, Mayor of Solrød, and chairman of Biogas Solrød A/S, Lars Christian Lilleholt, Minister for Energy, Utilities and climate, and Vincent Berrutto from the European Commission cut the ribbon.
The parent of all Columbus eggs
Lars Christian Lilleholt described the plant as a ground-breaking contribution to the renewal of sustainable energy.
– The enthusiastic minister said that it is at least a quadruple egg of Columbus – and almost the parent of all eggs of Columbus. You displace fossil fuels. You use waste products from agriculture, industry and beaches. You create a better distribution of nutrients to agricultural land. And you help removing foul-smelling seaweed from the beach.
Lars Christian Lilleholt said that it gives a strong signal that when Solrød wishes clean energy, then local forces unite to build a plant. Just as in the past where local communities wishing to have clean drinking water united and built waterworks.
The Minister welcomed the fact that it is a green conversion which is locally based and which uses local forces and local raw materials. That this facility can make use of seaweed is quite unique. He called the project a good contribution to the development of new biogas solutions that can inspire others, not least in coastal areas in Denmark and the rest of the European Union. The inauguration was also symbolically marked by the very first load of seaweed being driven to the receiving tank at the plant.
All of Europe can learn from you
Even Vincent Berrutto from the European Commission believes that the biogas plant in Solrød can inspire other local communities in Europe. It is one of 95 projects with sustainable energy that the Commission has backed in the last five years, and Solrød will be used as a successful example of how subsidies actually can realize additional capital investment within the climate and energy area.
– Let us help one another in telling the rest of the European Union about your unique project where it is possible to create competitive green energy. It is an example which all of Europe can use and learn from. You have shown political vision and leadership in a project that matches the European Union’s target to use renewable fuels instead of fulfilling half of the energy consumption by importing fossil fuels – as we do today. This is a strong contribution to the fight against climate changes and to achieve a more green energy future, Vincent Berrutto said.
Recouped in ten years
In his speech Niels Hörup emphasized that Solrød not only sets ambitious targets – Solrød also realizes them. When the plant is fully operational in one month, it will each year produce approximately ten million m3 of biogas. Solrød Municipality has a climate target to reduce emissions of CO2 with 55 percent before the year 2025. The biogas plant alone achieves half of this target.
Environmentally it is therefore a good investment, but economically it also holds, Niels found Hörup noted. The revenue from the sale of gas, etc. means that the plant will pay for itself in ten years.
- Biogas is a flammable mixture of gases primarily consisting of methane and carbon dioxide which it is possible to convert it into energy.
- The extraction of biogas is done through a biological process in which organic material is converted into biogas in an anaerobic environment.
- The biomass consists of biological residues from the companies CP Kelco and Chr. Hansen, seaweed and fouling algae from beach cleaning in the Bay of Køge and livestock manure from nearby agriculture. The biogas production is estimated to constitute approximately 6 million m3 of methane annually.
The biogas is sent to VEKS Heat Transmission Company at Solrød District Heating Company by which approximately 23 GWh electricity is produced annually, corresponding to consumption of electricity in approximately 4,500 homes as well as 28 GWh heating, corresponding to heat consumption in 1,530 homes.