CHP Conversion – Site Assessment

In the initial phase of the UK’s Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS), the conversion or expansion of existing biogas capacity is not deemed eligible for support – the Scheme only supports new developments, where equipment has not previously been used for biogas or biomethane production. However, following a study funded by the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) and coordinated by the Energy Industries Council (EIC), NNFCC and CNG Services established the scale of the opportunity to convert existing AD CHP facilities to biomethane was sizeable, but was unlikely to happen without support. Since the results were published in May 2022, Government have accessed the results and are considering whether the scope of GGSS should be broadened to encompass this segment of the market.

Whilst the industry awaits the outcome of the GGSS Mid-Scheme Review, NNFCC has been engaged by a UK AD project developer to further assess the potential and to identify priority sites for development, should support become available in the future. 

Using an in-house database of planned and operational AD facilities, NNFCC initially identified a target list of sites deemed technically suitable for conversion, based on key search criteria relating to scale, type, feedstock use, commissioning date, tariff rate and proximity to grid. A shortlist of 77 sites was then subject to a more in-depth assessment, where planning and permitting documentation was reviewed, to identify any development or operational risks which may constrain future development or expansion on the target sites. A topographical analysis was also performed, to rule out plants for which connecting to the grid would prove challenging, due to the proximity of major roads, railways and watercourses.

Finally, an evaluation of feedstock availability and landbank for digestate offtake was undertaken for each region concerned on a list of 41 high priority sites. All results were collated and presented to the client in an Excel spreadsheet, with development scores applied to enable opportunity ranking. The client awaits the outcome of the GGSS mid-scheme review before progressing further with target opportunities identified.


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