A new initiative by Thames Water and 2OC, a utility company, aims to collect used cooking oil for powering the world’s biggest fat-fueled power station, major sewage works, a desalination plant and to supply UK’s National Grid.
The waste cooking oil will be supplied by thousands of London restaurants. Considering that their annual spending on clearing drains from fat blockages averages around £1 million, the eateries will happily supply around 30 tonnes of waste from left over cooking a day, or about half of the fuel needed for a power plant to operate.
The project is set to run for the next 20 years, and it is worth more than £200m. The consortium already financed the construction of a power plant in Beckton, London, which is due to start functioning in the early 2015 solely on waste oil and animal fat.
The plant costs £70m and it is expected to produce around 130GWh a year.
Although this electricity is sufficient to power around 40,000 homes, 75GWh of this will go towards running Beckton’s sewage works and a desalination plant.
The company purchasing the renewable energy is Thames Water. The commercial director, Piers Clark already considers the project a win-win deal, since it stimulates renewable energy generation while tackling the raising problem of waste cooking oil disposal.
The chief executive of 2OC, Andrew Mercer, adds that the renewable power will be made available to Londoners if Thames Water no longer needs it.