VIRIDOR celebrated the pioneers of renewable energy yesterday as it opened its last-ever landfill gas facility in the UK.
Ms. Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, opened the East Kilbride compound, marking a transition from a time where landfill gas was the UK’s largest source of renewable energy, to Viridor’s wave of investment in ‘next generation’ recycling, renewable energy and sustainable waste technologies.
Part of the FTSE 250 Pennon Group, Viridor is recognised as Scotland’s leading recycling and waste management partner, working with 96 per cent of Scottish local authorities and Scotland’s leading businesses such as RBS, Scottish Power, Coca Cola Entrprises and BAE Systems.
UK Recycling and Waste Management Company of the Year, the firm is investing up to £800m in essential infrastructure to translate Scottish zero waste policies into practice.
Celebrating Viridor’s final UK investment in landfill gas, Mr. Dick Turner, director of Waste to Energy, said: “Scotland’s renewable energy and sustainable waste sector is changing.
“Across the country, consumers, corporates and councils are focusing on waste reduction, reuse, enhanced recycling and recovering value from what remains.
“Viridor has a strong tradition of leading innovation and investment, from pioneering renewable power from landfill gas to today standing as the UK’s largest recycler by MRF capacity, with investment in AD, gasification and energy from waste.
“In marking Viridor’s final investment in energy from landfill gas we celebrate the work of those renewables pioneers.
“Their success was the foundation of today’s renewables revolution, developing vital skills, sustainably converting gas to energy, and indeed until recently contributing one third of UK renewable capacity.”
Investing some £39m in landfill gas waste to energy since 1986, the company employs over 100 LFG specialists and produces enough energy to power three-quarters of the domestic electricity needs for a city the size of Edinburgh.
The site at East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, currently generates 1.3MW of energy – enough to power 2,400 homes and has an installed capacity of 2MW.
Mr. Turner continued: “Whilst proud of our achievements, we now look to the future.
“The challenge is now to delivering a mix of modern, proven ‘next generation’ technologies to translate zero waste policies intro practice, to drive recycling and to recover energy from what remains – just as we always have.”
Ms. Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, added: “As a nation, we must focus on the many economic and environmental opportunities which renewables present.
“It’s entirely appropriate to recognise the pioneering role that landfill gas generation played in the development of the sector.
“It blazed a trail for other technologies to follow and, in doing so, developed UK capabilities which today mean a more sustainable future for us all.”
IMAGE: Mr. DICK TURNER and MS. GAYNOR HARTNELL
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