Iona Capital finances first farm scale AD plant in Cumbria

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Iona Capital, the environmentally focussed investor, has today announced the successful investment into Stanley Renewable Energy Limited a joint venture company with developer JFS & Associates Limited and a family run Farm in Cumbria. As an experienced investor in larger Anaerobic Digestion (AD) transactions, this is Iona’s first investment in the smaller scale farm based AD market.

JFS & Associates will act as a development partner and construct a new 250kW AD plant at Ponsonby Old Hall Farm in Cumbria. The farm will supply the feedstock from existing farm wastes such as manure and slurry, supplemented with energy crops. Stanley Renewable Energy will generate renewable electricity from the anaerobic digestion process, receiving income under the Feed in Tariff Scheme, with the electricity being used on the farm or sold to the National Grid. The farm will have the benefit of free heat from the plant and the use of the digestate bi-product on the land as a bio-fertilizer.

This facility will not only provide an elegant solution for processing organic waste and generating renewable energy for distribution into the local network, but it will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with spreading farm waste on land. This will therefore contribute to the Government’s commitment to deliver “zero waste” by 2020 and increase renewable energy generation. This is the first of a number of schemes that are to be developed and funded in this manner by Iona and JFS, with two further farm scale projects in North Yorkshire planned for construction in early 2013.

Mike Dunn, Director, Iona Capital said: “We believe that Anaerobic Digestion technology provides an excellent opportunity for farmers to benefit from new streams of income through the clean production of electricity and reduction of costs on farm. Iona Capital is entering a new small scale AD market and is providing financial stimulation for growth and development of Anaerobic Digestion in the UK.”

Matthew Flint, Director, JFS & Associates Ltd. said “We see this scheme as a fantastic way for farmers to benefit from the drive towards more renewable energy sources. It’s also a real partnership where both sides benefit from the others’ resources and expertise. Our strategy is to dovetail into the farms existing business, with JFS taking care of the project delivery, allowing the farmer to continue to do what he does best.”

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