Energy from bio-waste: electricity for 1,100 households

In recent months, the Swiss company Renergon has planned and built a so-called solid fermentation plant on Hellefelder Höhe near Sundern. The plant expands the Hellefelder Höhe composting plant, in which the organic waste from the western Hochsauerland district has been disposed of and processed into compost since 1997 by an energy production plant in which electricity is generated from biogas. At the same time as the planning and construction of the plant, innogy Netzservice and Westnetz GmbH, innogy’s distribution network operator, provided a state-of-the-art and tailor-made transformer station for feeding the energy into the power grid.

Biowaste is used for energy

The composting plant on Hellefelder Höhe is operated by Friedrich and Reimund Klute GbR. The 34-year-old landscaper and his father had the idea several years ago not only to process the organic waste into valuable compost, but also to generate energy from it. “So far, however, there has been a lack of suitable technology for us,” said Friedrich Klute.

That changed last year with the offer from the Swiss biogas plant manufacturer Renergon. In the new plant, the organic waste is now first used for energy before it is processed into compost and special soils. The plant went into operation in August after about a year of construction.

Biogas as fuel for two combined heat and power plants

Specifically, the bio-waste, which is mainly delivered from the cities of Arnsberg, Sundern, the municipality of Eslohe and parts of the city of Meschede on the Hellefelder Höhe, is first shredded. Sorting then takes place over several stations in which everything that cannot be composted is sorted out. These are, for example, metals and plastic waste. This sorting is initially carried out mechanically and in a further step by trained employees. The shredded pure organic waste is then filled into so-called ferment boxes, in which added bacteria use it to produce biogas. This biogas consists of about 55 percent methane and 45 percent carbon dioxide and serves as fuel for two combined heat and power plants that generate electricity and heat from the biogas. The heat is used to operate the fermentation plant, i.e. for the production of additional fuel. The electricity, on the other hand, the actual new and valuable product, is fed into the national grid.

“We can supply around 1,100 households with electrical energy via our system,” says Friedrich Klute. A full bio bin with a capacity of 120 liters would have an energy equivalent that corresponded to four to five liters of heating oil. The fermentation of waste thus makes a very concrete contribution to the energy transition.

Tailor-made transformer station

But of course not that much energy can be fed into the power grid without appropriate technology. The system on Hellefelder Höhe therefore also brought the system planners of Westnetz GmbH, the distribution network operator of innogy SE, on the plan: On behalf of Biogas Hellefelder Höhe GmbH, Westnetz planned a new transformer station that is able to absorb the energy from the system and feed it into the grid.

“This job required a tailor-made solution. From planning the tailor-made options to selecting the executing companies, we were able to provide our customers with complete service from a single source and show our technical know-how, ”explains Gerhard Quick from the sales department at innogy Netzservice.

Source:, 24.09.2019

By |2020-01-13T16:52:17+02:00December 10th, 2019|