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Ofgem’s Response to the call for evidence on the industry standards and practices for commissioning

Following the release of Ofgem's call for evidence on industry standards and practices for commissioning, and discussion on it at last months ADBA Member’s Meeting, you can now find Ofgem’s response to the call for evidence on commissioning biomethane plants.

Ofgem’s call for evidence invited views on the industry standards and practices for commissioning equipment used in the production of biomethane for injection under the Non-Domestic RHI scheme. The full response can be found here.

The document lists the steps Ofgem expect prospective applicants to have taken before applying to register as a biomethane producer on the RHI.

Those requirements include that applicants for registration must:

  1. Provide details of the process used to produce biomethane for injection
  2. Specify the biogas production plant to be used for the purpose of registration
  3. Commission equipment used to produce biomethane and, at the time of making their application
  4. Have commenced the injection of biomethane.

The definition of commissioning

“Commissioned”, in relation to an eligible installation or equipment used to produce biomethane for injection, means the completion of such procedures and tests as constitute, at the time they are undertaken, the usual industry standards and practices for commissioning that type of eligible installation or equipment used to produce biomethane for injection in order to demonstrate that it is capable of operating and delivering heat to the premises or process for which it was installed, or producing biomethane for injection”

Minimum evidential requirements for commissioning equipment used in the production of biomethane for injection under the RHI

Construction, installation and testing phase:

  • Pressure and hydrostatic testing: Documentation showing all pipe work has been pressure tested to correct pressure rating in line with regulations and has been signed off. Documentation may include a certificate which confirms the system is air-tight for gas lies.
  • Appropriate certification for site wide electrical circuits: A document demonstrating electrical testing has been carried out on all equipment used to produce biomethane (including the biogas production plant) and the confirmation that this equipment is ready for commissioning.
  • Complete site acceptance testing (SAT) package: Signed document that demonstrates (i) all functionality and testing has been successfully completed and (ii) all alarms have been tested successfully on all equipment used to produce biomethane, irrespective of whether the biogas production and upgrading/injection equipment are located on separate sites. This document should also provide details of other person(s) who installed and tested the programmable logic control (PLC) and/or supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) monitoring systems.
  • Telemetry system: Documentation showing installation and full end-to-end testing of the telemetry system installed and commissioned for the biomethane plant.
  • Network Entry Agreement: A network entry agreement with the local Gas Network Operator confirming the biomethane, and control system, is adequate for injection into the gas grid for distribution.
  • Gas flow data: Input and output data of gas relating to the biogas production plant, upgrading equipment and grid entry unit. For the biogas production plant, this would include information about the feedstock used and the gas produced. For the upgrading equipment, this will include gas inputs and resultant biomethane and, for the grid entry unit, this will include the quality and quantity of the biomethane that is being injected into the grid.

Conclusions

Ofgem will continue to assess applications for biomethane registration on a case by case basis. At this stage they have been unable to narrow to a prescriptive list of commissioning procedures and tests that would constitute a plant meeting the definition.

For more information on this please refer to the full document or contact one of the ADBA team.

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Tags: Ofgem, biomethane, commissioning, sam hinton