Objections to renewable energy plant 'as big as village'
Published: 14 Oct 2015
People in Lauderdale in the Borders are objecting to plans to build a 20 acre anaerobic digester plant on farmland.
It'll create renewable energy and give the farm a sustainable income but villagers in Orton say it'll be as big as the village itself and doesn't belong in the countryside.
A Common Riding song describes the area as "Bonnie Lauderdale": beautiful countryside, crafted by farming for centuries.
The spectacular view is one of the things that drew Isla and John Middlemass to live there. They're now angry their view could soon feature seven gas tanks and a new road.
Their neighbour at Collielaw Farm wants to turn part of his farm into an anaerobic digester, which takes organic waste (like slurry or your leftover dinner) and turns it into renewable energy.
The organic waste is blended with a liquid to help bacteria break it down, it then goes to the digester: an oxygen free environment where it's heated and mixed for a month, releasing methane in the form of biogas and digestate.
The gas can go straight into the energy network, be used as fuel for cars, or burned to create electricity. The digestate is sold as fertiliser.
Tom Parker is the farmer who wants to do this. He argues farms like his need to diversify because traditional farming is too volatile to supply a sustainable income.
He says the anaerobic digester will create much-needed renewable energy and will create at least 5 energy jobs.