Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 10:50 UK

Potato skins converted into power

An environmentally-friendly plan to turn waste from a crisp factory into electricity has been approved.

Farmer Philip Johnson wants to generate enough power for 1,200 homes using potato skins from the Walker's Crisp factory in Peterlee, County Durham.

His request to convert 1,000 tonnes of potatoes a year at his farm in Old Quarrington has been given the green light by Durham County Council.

A generator, called an anaerobic digester, will convert the waste.

Mr Johnson also aims to process 7,000 tonnes of agricultural crops and 2,000 tonnes of manure a year.

The digester is expected to generate 500kw of electricity for the National Grid and 8,000 tonnes of fertiliser.

The Bowburn and Parkhill Community Partnership and the Campaign to Protect Rural England had objected to the scheme saying it would ruin the landscape.

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