First year of biogas production at Holly Park Farm

The first 12 months operation of the new biogas plant at Holly Park Farm in Fintona, Co Tyrone ended at the turn of the year. The McFarland family have been reflecting on the work involved in arriving at this stage from researching the idea, examining potential equipment and suppliers, the planning process, grid connection, financing and construction.

The plant has performed very well as experience has rapidly been gained in its operation. Reuben, who manages the unit, is very quick to acknowledge the assistance of his good friend Ian Bradley, who commissioned his own plant around four months after Reuben.

The plant, which runs on a feedstock of predominantly grass silage and cattle slurry, generates electricity for use on the farm for the family machinery business and for sale to the grid. In addition, it provides the heat for Reuben’s house.

Reuben has agreed to share his experiences of the establishment and operation of the plant to date, with some help from Ian, at the annual Practical On-farm Renewable Energy event which will be held at Enniskillen Campus on Wednesday 26 February from 1.00pm until 9.00pm.

They join a list of speakers including a number of farmers with experience of their own renewable energy installations and around 40 trade exhibitors.

By Nigel Moore, Senior Renewable Energy Technologist, Greenmount Campus

Pictured Reuben McFarland, Fintona, checks the operation of his on-farm biogas plant. He will share his experiences to date with the plant at the Practical On-farm Renewable Energy event which will be held at Enniskillen Campus on Wednesday 26 February.

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