Graham’s The Family Dairy has submitted plans to Fife Council proposing a low carbon heat project for their cheese production facility at the Glenfield Industrial estate in Cowdenbeath.

In what is claimed to be a first for Scotland’s dairy industry, the proposed anaerobic digestion plant would be fed residue whey from cheese making, producing gas that would then fuel a Combined Heat and Power turbine. Power generated from the biogas would meet 80% of the site's baseload electrical consumption, 50% of peak electric load and supply 50% of boiler gas. Effluent disposal costs would be reduced by 50% and there would be a saving of 62.94 kgCO2e/h.

The plant would also remove 18 trucks a week from the traffic flow to and from the creamery – a 20% reduction. If the project is given permission to proceed, the aim is to have it complete by the spring of 2021.

Managing director Robert Graham said: "Building a sustainable environment for our next generation is incredibly important to our family. We are actively working to achieve net zero carbon across every area of our business.

"The dairy sector has the potential to lead in the transition to a net zero carbon economy, particularly within the areas of heat and transport," said Mr Graham. "Our plans for the Glenfield dairy in Cowdenbeath will mark a step change in investment within the dairy sector in zero carbon innovation, infrastructure and skills development to accelerate climate adaptation within industry. This builds on our recent investment in a 15 MW solar park on our farmland in the Carse of Stirling as we move our business, at speed and scale, to decarbonise."

Through consultation with Fife Council, environmental analysis has been undertaken to inform the design, siting, layout and mitigation measures for the project.Graham's said that these assessments, which cover air quality, noise, aerosols, transport, landscape, ecology and drainage, all comply in full with technical standards to ensure the development will not impact on public health or neighbouring amenities.