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REG-Bio Power Celebrates a Year of Cooking-Oil Power with the Help of Finning

The innovative site in Whitemoor, North Yorkshire, uses 10 Finning Cat 3516 BHD engines to produce 18MW of power. The engines are fuelled with used cooking oil, which is collected by REG from restaurants, food processing plants and household waste recycling centres in partnership with local councils and waste contractors.

 After being collected, the used oil is taken to a REG recovery facility where it is filtered into a proprietary biofuel called LF100. Just one litre of used cooking oil can be turned into fuel able to provide enough renewable electricity to make 240 cups of tea, and one full tank can produce enough power to run the average home for an entire year.

Once the biofuel has been produced it is transported to REG’s Whitemoor facility where it is burned in Cat engines, providing renewable, carbon neutral energy to the National Grid.

“While the engines supplied by Finning are standard, off-the-shelf units, the fuel system is specially designed,” says Mark Radford, Project Manager at Finning.Reliability is also a major concern for REG as the Whitemoor site has been contracted to supply the UK’s Short-Term Operating Reserve (STOR) programme, which is designed to supply the National Grid with enough power to cope with unexpected spikes in demand.”

The Whitemoor site itself is unmanned most of the time, with the control system being remotely managed by Finning. When the generators need to be started up Finning engineers can run them from a central control room and let REG know that the operation was successful.

Once a call comes in from the National Grid that power from the site is needed the Finning operators need to have the generators running at full load in just four minutes. The engines need to start on demand and must also go off load at a set time, or REG may be subject to penalties.

The Whitemoor site has been supported by Finning engineers right from the start, who assisted REG with its planning and environmental compliance. Finning has also agreed an operation and maintenance contract with REG that will last until 2022, covering not just the engines but also the site’s boilers, pumps and high voltage equipment.

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