The upgrading of this infrastructure for the treatment of organic matter will increase the energy injected into the grid by 180 GWht, equivalent to the natural gas consumption of 20,000 Spanish households or 500 municipal buses. The waste treatment carried out at this plant reduces emissions by over 43,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum. A total budget of €6.9 million was made available for the upgrading of the facility, of which €656,000 came from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Nine-month upgrading project with investment of over €7 million
The refurbishment of this infrastructure began in July 2021 and was completed today after nine months of work. Until now, the biomethane plant has injected up to 100 GWh/annum of thermal energy into the grid. The increased capacity will allow 80% more of this renewable gas to be injected into the gas grid, bringing the total to 180 GWht, which will also result in a reduction in emissions of over 43,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum.
The upgrading work was executed and financed by PREZERO, the plant operator, with a total budget of €6.9 million. Of this amount, €656,000 was provided in subsidies by the ERDF, within the framework of the first call for proposals for aid for investment in thermal energy production facilities from renewable energy sources. Mayor of Madrid, Jose Luis Almeida, highlighted the “budgetary effort” required to develop this project and thanked “public-private partnership and the support of the companies involved to enable the plant to continue to operate”.
The project will contribute to the achievement of the 2030 target of a 42% share for renewable energies in the energy mix, set out in Spain’s National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (NECP). Similarly, the Madrid 360 Environmental Sustainability Strategy is supported by measures that promote the circular economy and contribute to the fight against climate change.
Second life for organic waste
The food waste deposited by the 3.2 million residents of the city of Madrid in the brown organic bin and the city’s pruning waste now have a second life. More and more biowaste is being collected separately in the brown bin, a total of 215,000 tonnes in 2021. The efforts made by citizens to separate organic waste at source make it possible to obtain organic soil improvers and renewable biofuels from treatment and recovery operations carried out at the Valdemingómez Technology Park. This contributes to the development of the circular economy and favours the transition to a more decarbonised energy system, with less dependency on fossil fuels and greater self-sufficiency.
The biomethanisation facility at the Valdemingómez Technology Park consists of two biomethanisation or anaerobic digestion plants, Las Dehesas and La Paloma, which produce two materials from organic waste: biogas and digestate.
The biogas is upgraded in the newly expanded Biogas Treatment Plant, which transforms it into biomethane and injects it into the gas network. It can be used for the same purposes as natural gas (domestic boilers, buses, lorries, cars, industrial use, etc.), but, unlike natural gas, biomethane comes from a renewable or green origin.
The digestate undergoes a composting process at the La Paloma plant to obtain organic soil amendments or fertilisers (compost).