Newly built SA biogas plant increases energy production
The biogas plant, located in the Uilenkraal dairy farm in the Western Cape, has achieved a 1.5GWh electricity production in August, just a year after it began operation.
Since production work began, the plant has been meeting 95% of the electricity demand for dairy farmers, animal feed milling and crop irrigation activities. The plant also produces high-quality bio-fertiliser as a by-product.
Developed and built by CAE, the biogas plant is able to produce over 1000t/y of methane from a 7000-m3 fully mixed, fully heated, lined lagoon biodigester.
MD for Cape Advanced Engineering (CAE), Andrew Taylor, the average on farm utilisation of 240kVA is below the biodigester gas production which can produce at least 600Kva.
This indicates that the production of 360kVA of potential power is not being utilised and more than half the biogas produced is wasted through flaring.
Installation of more generators would enable the Uilenkraal biogas power generation plant to generate 1MVA of electricity into the grid during peak times for up to 8 hours in a day.
The main barrier to development of biogas plants in South Africa is limited revenue because of projects below 1MW not selling or being connected to the national electricity grid.
However, the Southern African Biogas Industry Association is helping in the campaign for biogas projects to be put in place.