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Rainbarrow Farm

Rainbarrow Farm was the UK’s first commercial biogas plant to inject Biomethane-to-Grid.

About:

Rainbarrow Farm AD Plant, the UK’s first biomethane-to-grid commercial facility is owned and operated by JV Energen LLP. The plant was fully commissioned in October 2012 and been successfully operating ever since, making it the longest serving biomethane-to-grid facility in the UK.

SGN Commercial Services has enjoyed a close working relationship with JV Energen LLP and proud to support the venture from the beginning.

 

Capacity upgrade:

 

The concept

Last year JV Energen decided to increase their biogas production capability by 50% and install carbon capture equipment. In order to provide full flexibility, JV Energen opted to install an additional fully independent biogas upgrader to work in parallel with the original unit.

 

The challenge

The scheme to install a second membrane upgrader and additional equipment, connecting pipework and cables on the existing footprint was challenging. Undertaking the project whilst continuing biomethane production and most importantly keeping everyone safe required creative solutions and close teamwork.

 

Innovative solutions

Our multi-disciplined Green Gas Solutions team were tasked by JV Energen to deliver the expansion project and we're to pleased to announce that the project was successfully completed in July 2020.

The project required our team to provide creative and innovative engineering solutions, the scope included:

  • Integrated design
  • Project management of all stages
  • Implementation and commissioning
  • Additional pre-treatment capability
  • Second biogas upgrader – to operate in harmony with original membrane plant
  • New flare – to manage total production
  • Pipework modifications – to incorporate increased flows
  • Power and instrumentation – to accommodate additional demand and signals
  • Additional propane management to optimise usage
  • Installation of an innovative 'clean up plant selection' (CUPS) unit. The CUPS unit was installed upstream of the GEU and is designed to blend the biomethane flows from two independent upgraders whilst continuously monitoring composition for compliance. If either stream experiences a gas quality excursion, the diversion system swiftly diverts the fault stream over to the reject gas unit whilst maintaining flows from the 'on-spec' stream. The fast acting operation of the CUPS unit avoids any needless closure of the GEU's remote operated valve (ROV) and downtime. 

Phase two 

We are planning to return to site later on in the year to complete phase two, which will involve modification and upgrade of the 'grid entry unit' (GEU) to fully accomodate the increased flows.

 

Our role:

Original project

Our involvement in the 2012 project was in various forms and included the provision of funding, planning and design, installation of upgrader, grid entry unit and pipeline and commissioning of the plant.

 

Expansion project

More recently we oversaw the design and installation of the capacity expansion and grid entry unit (GEU) modifications projects.

We also continue to provide a fully wrapped maintenance and fault response service. 

 

Investment

The original investment in the project extended to installation of biomethane assets on site, grid entry unit and export pipeline.

More recently, we funded additional equipment to facilitate expansion including compressor, pre-treatment, upgrader, and flare as well as grid entry modifications.

 

Green Impact:

Since the start, more than 22 million cubic metres of biomethane has been injected into the local gas network in Dorset.

When phase two of the development works has been completed, the volume of biomethane injected into the gas grid will increase from 400m³ to around 650m³ per hour.

The new injection rate will supply enough gas to heat 5000 homes with a carbon equivalent saving of 11,000 tonnes per annum.