What happens to the vegetable peelings of produce heading for supermarkets such as Asda and Marks & Spencer was revealed in a tour of the UK’s leading renewable energy operator based in Holbeach.
Thirty thousand tonnes of unavoidable organic waste a year, enough green energy to power the equivalent of 3,000 homes, is generated by QV Foods peelings to power its 24/7 processing and packing facility.
Any excess power is put back into the local electricity grid for homes and businesses.
To see how the power is procesed, government minister John Hayes, who is standing for re-election after being the Tory MP for 18 years, visited the Tamar Energy anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.
The AD plant is a joint venture with A H Worth, the parent company of QV Foods, one of the county’s largest food growers and processors. Mr Hayes said: “It’s been fascinating to visit this innovative partnership between QV Foods as a major local employer, and Tamar Energy.
“AD offers a superb way of generating renewable energy both locally and nationally and at the same time as offering an efficient waste management solution.”
Ricky Maylin, Tamar Energy’s plant manager, said: “AD is an exciting technology, and this plant’s ‘closed loop’ system of converting organic waste into green power really shows its potential.
“We’re really pleased with the successes we’ve had here in partnership with QV Foods.”
Duncan Worth, chairman of QV Foods, said: “Getting an AD plant off the ground is not a commitment to be entered into lightly, and I’m glad to be working with a partner like Tamar Energy.
“That said, AD can deliver real benefits; the most obvious one is cheaper electricity.
“Our farming operation now has a supply of liquid biofertiliser saving us a significant amount too, and we’re reducing our food supply chain carbon footprint.”