RAF Marham in Norfolk has become Britain's first green military station
It’s already famous for its long and distinguished history and RAF Marham has now become Britain’s first green military station.
The west Norfolk base is now being powered by green electricity fuelled by fermented locally grown crops.
Defence minister Tobias Ellwood MP visited the Future Biogas plant at Redstow Renewables Ltd in Swaffham, which is connected to the station by cable, on Thursday, January 31, to see how it works.
Mr Ellwood, who is minister for defence, personnel and veterans, was told that it will help tackle climate change, support the local economy, save taxpayers’ money, and take pressure off the National Grid.
He said: “This is a remarkable day and it’s a real pleasure to be here. RAF Marham is the first base/ garrison to just about run itself off renewable energy, so the RAF is ahead of the game on this.
“We have a very fragile planet and climate change means we have to introduce initiatives like this for future generations,
“I hope this plant can act as a model and we can see more sustainable energy schemes rolled out across other military bases.”
The process, which is known as anaerobic digestion, produces gas which is collected and used to power multiple generators that produce electricity.
About 4.5mw of electricity is generated every hour, which can power 350,000 LED bulbs.
This will provide for 95pc of RAF Marham’s energy needs and save the Ministry of Defence (MoD) nearly £300,000 every year.
It will reduce the MoD’s carbon emissions by 14,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, and the waste residue can then be dried and used as fertiliser to help grow local crops.
Wg Cdr Stew Geary, RAF Marham officer commanding base support wing, said, “This is a great day for RAF Marham and the local community within west Norfolk as we’re celebrating the supply of renewable energy into the station at a time that we are also growing the capability of our new combat air aircraft, the F-35 Lightning”.
The plant was created through a partnership between the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), Future Biogas and Crown Commercial Services (CCS).