A £22.5m facility which would turn manure and household waste into energy has been given the go-ahead in South Lanarkshire
The biogas plant will form part of Scotland’s first green commercial and industrial park, just off the M74.
Planning permission has been granted for the first phase of the project, which will produce enough electricity to power 2,8000 homes.
Proactive Energy, the firm behind the plans, hope to be operational by 2011.
The facility would be capable of producing 5 megawatts of electricity, which would be supplied to the National Grid.
It will help reduce the amount of organic waste being sent to landfill.
Ron Coakley, director of Proactive Energy, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our anaerobic digestion facility has been given the go-ahead.
“Our total commitment to a cleaner and safer environment is supported by our initial £22.5m investment.
“This demonstrates our ambition and vision for providing state-of-the-art and cost effective waste disposal solutions with huge environmental spin-offs.”
A fertiliser produced as a by-product of the waste digestion process will be used on local farms.
The company also plans to offer thermal energy, another by-product, to heat the premises of neighbouring eco-park occupiers. Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “Biogas offers a great opportunity to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce waste to landfill.
Councillor Graham Scott, chair of South Lanarkshire’s planning committee which approved the proposal, said: “This is an exciting plan, and one of the most unique we have seen at this committee.
“As an alternative to landfill it is in itself to be welcomed, but the developer’s commitment to recycling and re-use across the facility is genuinely admirable.”
“Scottish households throw away some 570,000 tonnes of food every year, and we need to look at how we can convert this to energy through technologies such as biogas and biofuels.”