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Former landfill sites generate substantial income for the County Council

Published: 04/03/2015

Two former landfill sites in Buckley have generated over £400,000 of income for Flintshire County Council in a twelve month period. Methane gas is generated at the Brookhill and Standard landfill sites through the anaerobic biological decomposition of the waste deposited when the sites were operational. The gas is converted into electricity through a purpose designed, gas fuelled electricity generation plant, from where it is metered and distributed at high voltage (11,000 volts) into the National Grid. The power is then sold at auction through the Non Fossil Purchasing Agency at current electricity market rates, using industry approved six monthly short term contracts. During 2014 the two plants produced a total of 4,300 megawatts of electricity- the equivalent of meeting the annual energy needs for approximately 1,700 homes. The total income generated from the methane gas during 2014 was approximately £440,000, which provides a much needed revenue stream for the County Council. There are also plans to develop energy production further, with the possibility of solar panels at both landfill sites. It is anticipated that the introduction of PV panels would further increase the delivery of electricity into the National Grid, with a potential increase in income of £50,000 per annum. This could also present an opportunity to power the County Council’s vehicle fleet through its own renewable energy supply. Kevin Jones, Cabinet Member for Waste Strategy, Public Protection and Leisure, said: “At a time when the County Council is facing unprecedented cuts, it is welcome news that two of our former landfill sites are generating such a significant amount of income for the local authority- money we can then use to offset some of the financial pressure we are facing. “The Council’s use of renewable energy is also helping to deliver the Welsh Governments targets for production of energy from renewable green energy sources and it also helps preserve national air quality standards.”