For the first time ever, the good people of Manchester could soon be cooking on their own gas.
It’s a sign that Manchester’s wastewater treatment plant in Trafford, branded "the most innovative green energy scheme in the world", is about to get even greener.
The award-winning "poo-powered" sludge digestion centre at Davyhulme currently produces renewable energy in the form of biogas to generate green electricity but we are now planning to introduce a process that cleans the biogas to produce "green" gas and inject this directly into the gas grid for use by businesses and households.
Tom Lissett, sludge business manager for United Utilities, explained: "We’re always looking at ways to maximise the amount of value we can get from sewage sludge.
"It might have been considered a waste stream at one time, but now we call sludge ‘black gold’. Already we use our biogas in engines to generate renewable heat and electricity from Davyhulme - enough to power the entire works. As we increase the efficiency of the sewage and sludge treatment process we are able to generate more biogas and as a result we’ll be able to put that into the gas grid for the very first time."
United Utilities is to lay a new gas pipe along Rivers Lane to connect into the existing gas network on Barton Road near Trafford Retail Park.
Meanwhile, at the treatment works itself, a cleaning plant is being built to make sure the biogas is pure enough to be injected into the gas grid.
Tom added: "Everyone will benefit from our more flexible approach to utilising biogas for electricity generation and supplying "green" gas to the grid. This maximises the benefits we can obtain from the biogas we produce which will help us protect our customers from higher bills in future."
Work to lay the new gas main connection in Barton Road will start on Monday 8th February and take three weeks to complete.
- Shetland Way will be closed on 13th and 14th February with a diversion along Iona Way and Kingsway Park.
- Barton Road will have one lane closed from 15th – 19th February, controlled by temporary traffic lights.
The scheme should be up and running, with gas going into supply this Spring.