RAF Marham in Norfolk is set to become the first British military base to run almost entirely on green energy after the Ministry of Defence finalised a power purchase deal with a nearby biogas plant.
Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood made the announcement today at the plant’s opening. The facility, built by Future Biogas, will use fermented locally grown crops to produce 4.5 MVA of power every day, enough for 350,000 LED bulbs.
It is estimated the agreement will help cut the Ministry of Defence’s emissions by 14,000 tonnes per year, save around £300,000 per year.
The plant will also help boost power resilience at RAF Marham by providing “multiple pathways to electricity”.
— Ministry of Defence ?? (@DefenceHQ) January 31, 2019
The venture between RAF Marham and Future Biogas has been in development since 2015, with energy firm EDF helping to broker the deal in collaboration with Crown Commercial Services, the government’s procurement agency, and the MoD’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation.
“RAF Marham is leading the way as Britain’s first green military airbase. The biogas fuel is a truly green and sustainable solution, helping us tackle climate change, support the local economy and save taxpayer money”
Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood
The fermented crops produce gas which is then collected and used to power multiple generators. The waste residue from this process can be dried and used as fertiliser to help grow local crops.It is expected to reduce the MoD’s carbon emissions by 14,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
The MoD is aiming for more bases to use green energy over the coming years. Tobias Ellwood said he hopes RAF Marham “can act as a model and we can see more sustainable energy schemes rolled out across other military bases”.
Marham is home to home to the RAF’s F-35B fleet, as well as the soon to be retired Tornado GR4. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson recently opened a brand-new maintenance hangar at RAF Marham. Along with resurfaced runways and new landing pads to accommodate the F-35B’s ability to land vertically, this is part of over £550m being invested in the base.