leading the way in creating a sustainable energy future
Wyke Farms, one of the UK’s largest cheese producers, has put sustainability at the heart of its business. The company based in the Somerset countryside is one of the first national food brands to be self-sufficient in green energy.
Wyke has created a sustainable working farm which sources all its energy from solar, biogas CHP and biomethane, also known as green gas, generated from over 75,000 tonnes of biodegradable waste from its cheese business, its farms and its neighbours’ farms. It was the Guardian Sustainable Business of the Year in 2014 and also in 2014 chosen by leading trade publication, The Grocer, as Sustainable Supplier of the Year.
The company has been at the forefront of exploiting new gas technology since late 2014 when it first injected biomethane into the gas grid. Wyke’s Anaerobic digestion (AD) plant produces biogas from dairy and farm waste. Some biogas is used to generate electricity with waste heat utilised in the process. The majority of biogas however is converted into biomethane which is then injected into the gas grid; the process is known as biomethane to grid (BtG). The Wyke plant started producing green gas in December 2014 and production has increased steadily to the point where today Wyke Farms is producing around 70 million units of certified Green Gas per year (one unit = 1kWh).
Wyke’s biomethane is shipped through the gas grid by Barrow Green Gas (BGG). In January 2016, Wyke announced a partnership with Sainsbury’s to supply green gas for its stores. BGG make this possible by transferring a proportion of Wyke’s green gas to Sainsburys’ gas supplier. The aim of the partnership is to supply enough gas to make up six per cent of Sainsbury’s total gas use.
BGG is also a direct supplier of green gas and supplies Wyke with the gas that is used to provide energy for its cheese manufacturing plant, which is on a different site to the AD Plant.
The biomethane is tracked through the system using the REA Green Gas Certification Scheme, the process is facilitated by Barrow Green Gas who can provide proof- of origin via the Green Gas Certificate transfers. This gives confidence to all parties that the gas is biomethane.
In addition, because BGG supports other green gas producers, if for any reason Wyke’s gas production does not meet a company’s needs on a particular day, BGG is able to fulfil that gas demand from its other producers, ensuring that sustainability targets continue to be met.
Wyke’s commitment to sustainability is impressive and driven by a real desire to create a better world.
According to Richard Clothier, Managing Director and 3rd generation family member at Wyke Farms:
“As people who work closely with the land, we can see first-hand effects of climate change and I believe that we have a responsibility for the sake of future generations to be part of a low carbon solution to energy. Increasingly the shoppers that buy our cheddar across the world see green and sustainable as part of our corporate
responsibility and expect us to do our bit.”
Barrow Green Gas was set up to provide biomethane producers with a dedicated service which is focused on all the benefits that green gas can offer. BGG supplies more green gas than any other shipper, sourced from over half of Great Britain’s biomethane producers.
BGG holds GB Gas Shipper and Supplier Licences, and so uses the existing natural gas network to deliver green gas. BGG offers flexible contracts, tailored individual support and transparency. Green gas is supplied at prices linked to the natural gas ‘daily system clearing price’ – where prices are driven by real supply and real demand on the day.
BGG is the only GB supplier and shipper business to focus exclusively on the biomethane market so anyone buying gas from them can be sure they are purchasing green gas.
CNG Fuels offers a carbon neutral option for vehicle fleets
Transport fleets, particularly HGV operators, throughout the UK are switching fuels from diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG). Today, Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) offer reduced CO2 emissions, ultra-low particulate and NOx emissions as well as big noise reductions. There are also significant economic benefits for fleet owners switching to natural gas vehicles, with savings of between 40% - 50% over diesel.
Biomethane, also known as renewable or green gas, as a vehicle fuel delivers all the benefits of natural gas, but with a clear advantage; it’s renewable and sustainable and compared to diesel there is a 72% reduction in CO2 emissions.
Anaerobic digestion (AD) plants produce biomethane from food waste, sewage, energy crops or agricultural waste, and inject it into the natural gas grid. When the biomethane is injected into the grid, the process is known as Biomethane to Grid (BtG).
For companies wishing to switch to biomethane, BtG offers significant advantages, because the green gas can be delivered across the UK via the UK’s national gas network. This means filling stations can be located where fleet operators need them.
CNG Fuels is dedicated to building and operating CNG filling stations. CNG Fuels owns the UK’s largest public access CNG filling station in Crewe and is building an even bigger filling station at Leyland in Lancashire, which will be open early 2016. CNG Fuels also supplies CNG to an off grid filling station in Scunthorpe which is owned by Brit European. Due to demand, more stations are being planned.
Barrow Green Gas (BGG) holds GB Gas Shipper & Supplier Licences, so can utilise the existing natural gas network to deliver biomethane. From a commercial point of view, BGG offers flexible contracts, tailored Individual support and transparency. Biomethane is supplied at prices linked to natural gas ‘daily system clearing price’ – where prices are driven by real supply and real demand on the day.
BGG supplies the biomethane to CNG Fuels’ station at Crewe, which is used by Waitrose. Waitrose will also be the main customer at the new CNG Fuels’ Leyland filling station and the company is committed to running a low carbon fleet.
The biomethane is tracked through the system using the Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS) the process is facilitated by Barrow Green Gas who can provide proof-of-origin via the Green Gas Certificate title transfers. This gives confidence to customers who can then be sure they are buying biomethane.
Philip Fjeld from CNG Fuels says: “There is a growing demand for biomethane because our customers want to take advantage of the big environmental benefits it brings and we depend on Barrow Green Gas to manage process of shipping the gas to us” “Barrow’s expertise comes from being the UK’s only dedicated biomethane shipper, and they can ensure the biomethane supplied is traceable, which means they are the ideal partner for us and the working relationship with them is extremely successful.”
The GGCS tracks biomethane through the supply chain to provide certainty for those that buy it; each unit of green gas injected into the grid displaces a unit of conventional gas. Each unit is tracked from its injection into the distribution grid, to its sale to a consumer, ensuring there is no double-counting from production to end use.
Biomethane promises to become an ever more popular choice for HGVs thought out the UK, with dedicated CNG vehicles now available and companies looking to go carbon neutral, the UK following a model that has been successful in Sweden.
Philip Fjeld from CNG Fuels says in conclusion: “We expect Barrow Green Gas will continue to supply biomethane to our rapidly growing network of CNG stations. There is no doubt that gas as a vehicle fuel is growing in popularity, but interest in biomethane is growing even faster as companies see how they can take advantage of the economic and environmental benefits green gas offers.”