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Iona moves into farm scale AD funding

Investor Iona Capital is to fund its first small-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) project, a joint venture for a farm-based facility in Cumbria.

Iona Capital, which usually funds larger AD deals, is investing in a partnership between JFS & Associates and a family run farm.

The joint venture, called Stanley Renewable Energy, will see a 250kW AD plant constructed in Ponsonby Old Hall Farm. Feedstock will come from farm wastes such as manure and slurry, and be supplemented with energy crops.

Stanley Renewable Energy will generate renewable electricity from the AD process to be used on the farm or sold to the National Grid. The farm will also use heat from the plant and use the digestate bi-product as a bio-fertilizer.

Iona Capital director Mike Dunn said the firm was entering the small scale AD market and would provide financial stimulation for growth and development of facilities in the UK.

“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,” he said.

Iona Capital and JFS are also planning to fund two further farm scale projects in North Yorkshire, which are planned for construction in early this year.

JFS & Associates, backed by TATA Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise, aims to build, own and operate at least 25 AD plants in five years.

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