Gas made from home-grown crops is set to heat up to 7,000 local homes after a plant at Ellough, near Beccles, has been hooked up to the National Grid gas network.
Built and operated by renewable energy company BioCore Environmental, the facility marks the very first “gas to grid” project for the firm.
It is among the first of at least 80 projects around the country that National Grid is aiming to connect to its network over the next eight years.
Biocore managing director Peter Carey said: “We are delighted to have delivered this significant gas-to-grid plant with National Grid. It will provide a number of benefits to farmers in the region while contributing significant renewable energy to the local and national grid.
“It is one of the most efficient uses of biogas and reduces reliance on imported fossil gas, thus contributing to meeting the UK’s renewable energy and climate change targets while improving our energy security.”
National Grid head of stakeholder delivery Richard Court said: “This is great news for Suffolk. Biogas, made from crops and other ‘biomass’, can make a significant contribution to keeping energy supplies secure, affordable and green.
“We’re committed to working with customers like Biocore to connect their projects to our gas network and ensure we can all benefit from alternative forms of energy like this.”
The project also provides a market for farmers to sell their “break crops” – crops planted by farmers in between other crops to keep the land healthy and fertile.
The plant at Sotterley processes feedstock, sourced from local farmers, every year and can produce up to 29,000m3 of gas a day.