Waste plant will heat 1,000 homes

Richard Todd, Managing Director and Carolyn English, Lloyds Bank on site. Allium Energy York, North Yorks, Aug 9 2022.
Richard Todd, Managing Director and Carolyn English, Lloyds Bank on site. Allium Energy York, North Yorks, Aug 9 2022.

A FAMILY-owned business near York is pioneering the next generation of combined heat and power technology following a multi-million pound investment in a suite of new machinery.

Allium Energy, based just outside Easingwold, specialises in making renewable electricity from organic wastes and is building a plant that will generate enough power to supply nearly 1,000 homes.

The company began in 2017 after brothers Richard and Peter Todd sold their waste management business so that they could concentrate on the recycling of organic wastes.

Over a short period, the company’s activities have grown to include composting, bio-mass, bio-gas, land restoration and renewable electricity production.

Recognising that a number of the business’s former waste sites were producing quantities of gas, the brothers set out to learn how to generate renewable energy by capturing methane generated from decomposing organic matter.

These sites are now renewable centres, with all waste processed to recover power with the by-product being valuable compost.

When completed in the New Year, the combined heat and power plant at Alne will reduce local CO2 emissions by almost 6,500 tonnes every year and will generate 1.3MW of electricity per hour. Furthermore, four skilled jobs will be created, increasing the Allium team from 14 to 18 over the next year.

Both the electricity and compost will be used locally, with local firms able to buy it cheaply, before it is exported to the national grid. A nearby poultry unit will receive the heat and first draw of power, with the balance being fed into the national grid.

Richard Todd, managing director of Allium Energy, said: “In the current climate, factors like demand for new housing and the drive to adopt electric vehicles are placing huge pressure on our grid. Couple this with the fact that energy prices are only set to rise, and it’s critical that we do as much as we can to capitalise on the materials we have at our disposal to create renewable, clean, sustainable sources of power.

“This was the inspiration for the evolution of F D Todd & Sons into Allium Energy – there was huge potential sat, quite literally, waiting to be transformed into energy that can contribute to meeting local demand.

“The set-up we are creating here is fully scalable, and we hope it can be used as a blueprint for developers and other big users of energy looking to find more sustainable, localised power and heat solutions.”