Local radio station, Heart FM, visited Lodge Farm, on the outskirts of Wrexham, earlier today to discover more about the farm’s ground-breaking mini power plant.
Richard Tomlinson, fifth generation family farmer at Lodge Farm and Managing Director of fre-energy, the company Richard has set up to design, build and install the plants for other farmers, was interviewed by Heart FM reporter, Charlene Smith. Staff at the radio station had stumbled across the farm by chance and a subsequent visit to site confirmed their belief that here was a fantastic, local success story waiting to be told.
Richard and his team, comprising of brother and engineer Jonathan and technical guru Chris Morris, have developed an award-winning Anaerobic Digestion power plant, which processes farm animal waste to produce bio-gas which can then be converted into power, in the form of both electricity and heat. This renewable energy is suitable for use not only on the farm but can also be exported to the National Grid, enabling homes and businesses alike to benefit from the supply. The residual solid material, which resembles compost, and liquid material are applied to the farm’s fields as highly nutritious and natural fertilisers, without incurring any of the costs, smells or environmental issues normally associated with the more common chemical fertilisers.
Richard told Charlene: “The plant at Lodge Farm has been in operation 24/7 for the past 4 years without a single hiccough and we now have plants in operation at 3 other farms around the UK. We have developed unique technology, for which both UK and, only this week US, patents have been awarded, to enable farms to process their slurry, which would otherwise have to be disposed of. Although Anaerobic Digestion plants are in use on thousands of farms elsewhere in Europe, none of these plants have been designed to deal with the problems associated with processing animal waste and many are therefore beginning to fail. As farmers ourselves, we have invented technology that is proven to work on farms.”
On-farm AD has enormous potential to deliver renewable energy from bio-gas and to lessen the carbon footprint of farming, whilst at the same time reducing greenhouse gas pollution from organic wastes and returning valuable nutrients back to the land. fre-energy is in a unique position to play a major role in transforming the UK agricultural and environmental industries.