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View a visual diary of the construction progress for High Hedley Biogas Plant

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Introducing W. J. Drennan

The company is owned by Northern Ireland businessman Will Drennan. Will started his working life hauling dry freight around Northern Ireland and the mainland. His love of distance driving and trucks saw him set up Drennan Transport Ltd in 1970 with 1 Flatbed Bedford Truck running freight as far as Europe. Today, over 4 decades on they run their own fleet of 18 vehicles complimented by a network of reliable subcontractors. They employ over 30 staff and have a reputation for getting the job done, first time, every time and on budget.

Will had always loved the North East of England, the area and people being very similar to his hometown of Tobermore in County Londonderry. So when High Hedley Hope Farm came on the market in 2007 he jumped at the opportunity to acquire. The farm was already producing electricity with 3 wind turbines on the west of the property and 4 more planned to the east and a very brief conversation between the farm manager and his agronomist, albeit 4 years on, led to the building of the High Hedley Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Plant. The Plant will commence at 500kW, sufficient to power approximately 800 residential properties, but has been designed to allow an increase of 100% to 1MW simply by adding more food waste and installing a second CHP, which is planned for phase II at the beginning of 2016. The farm is modernising and expanding into the Dairy Business with plans for 400 Dairy Cows. The Slurry from these animals will provide a stable biology to the Digesters. The AD process residue, Digestate, a highly nutritional Biofertiliser will go back on the land and improve the grass quality, to be fed back to the Dairy Herd. A real circular economy with ZERO waste. The heat for the pasteurisation process, the heating of the Digesters and all of the Dairy hot water wash requirements will come from the CHP cooling jacket at the plant. This excess heat will also be used to supply the heating and hot water requirements of the farmhouses. About 10% of the electricity generated will provide all of the electrical requirements of the businesses and dwelling houses with the balance going to the National Grid as genuinely renewable electricity.

High Hedley Biogas Plant will start exporting electricity to the National Grid in December 2014.

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