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Co-operative AD project launched

Lower Park Farm Co-operative is offering the public the opportunity to invest in its renewable energy-from-waste (EfW) project.

The £1.25m project, the first of its kind to gain co-operative status, involves the purchase of an on-farm anaerobic digestion (AD) facility, which will generate an income for its members.

The 240kW AD plant will convert biogas from cattle slurry into green energy, providing a chemical-free fertiliser as a by-product.

Some of the heat and electricity produced by the plant will be used by the farm and neighbouring buildings, while the majority will be exported to the national grid.

The facility, built on the outskirts of Rossett, Cheshire, will qualify for the Government’s renewable energy financial incentive schemes.

The plant is seeking a total investment of £1.25m, with a minimum contribution of £500. Members will get a fixed interest rate of 8% a year for the duration of the repayment period, estimated at 10 years.

The neighbouring Lodge Farm AD plant has been generating energy since 2009 and receives Government incentive payments.

Lower Park Farm owner Richard Tomlinson said: “We know the amount of energy a plant produces and the income it provides. This means we can be confident that our project will deliver to the level we say it will.

“We are fully committed to this project and are looking forward to raising the funds required to enable us to begin building the plant.”

Tomlinson and his family have already invested more than £100,000 in the project, including the establishment of a connection that enables electricity to be exported from the farm to the grid.

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