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Green energy expansion at Widnes

PDM Group’s Widnes plant has opened the gates to a massive increase in green power supply potential.

With the UK now basking in the driest summer since 1976, the news comes at a time when the problems of climate change have come into sharp focus.

“Using combined heat and power technology, the Widnes plant exports green electricity to the national grid and produces renewable heat for the site’s own rendering process,” explains Philip Simpson of PDM Group. “Renewable heat energy is also supplied to an adjacent chemical factory.”

A three year, multi-million pound expansion programme at Widnes has seen the installation of a new turbine, more efficient advanced cooling systems as well as an upgraded connection to the national grid.

The renewable electricity generated by the expanded plant is sold via an off take agreement with Smartest Energy.

“With electricity production on the up, the plant quickly reached the export limit for the original 11,000 volt connection. The new 33,000 volt line, installed to accommodate the extra electricity generated, went live at 16.45 on Thursday July 14 – a brilliant achievement for all those involved in the project and a major milestone for the plant’s overall expansion.

Rob Ratcliffe, director of operations engineering and development at PDM, congratulated all involved with the project. “A big thank you must go to the Widnes team, for their hard work and dedication which has made this development possible.”

These changes, along with the installation of tallow-fuelled diesel engines, have seen the site’s renewable electricity output rise to 7 MW. But, according to Mr Simpson it doesn’t stop there.

“Developments to further increase green power and bio-fuels production at the Widnes site and the company’s other sites are in the pipeline, just part of the continued expansion of PDM Group’s renewable energy generation portfolio.”