A new company has been launched to develop a network of more than 40 anaerobic digestion (AD) plants to generate 100MW of electricity during the next five years.
Tamar Energy, launched on Wednesday with £65m of investment, is led by RIT Capital and Fajr Capital, alongside the Duchy of Cornwall, Lord Rothschild’s Family Interests, Sustainable Technology Investments, and others.
Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, already the UK’s biggest AD user, has invested £2m in the project. Chief executive Justin King said the company will work with its suppliers to ensure they have access to Tamar’s AD plants so that supply chain food waste is reduced.
The new company will be headed by executive chairman Alan Lovell, former chief executive of renewable energy firm Infinis.
Environment secretary Caroline Spelman said: “I want the UK to show leadership in AD, and this new partnership will set us on that course. This £65m investment shows there are great business opportunities in this technology, creating heat and power to run homes and businesses and reducing the amount of organic waste that would otherwise lie rotting in landfill. I wish Tamar Energy and its partners every success.”
Tamar has also acquired Adgen Energy, which has an advanced pipeline of projects and a management team, including the previous chief executives of AD specialist BiogenGreenfinch.
Charlotte Morton, chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, said: “ADBA is pleased to see this significant investment in, and commitment to, the AD industry.
“The network of 40 plants proposed by Tamar will help to promote the use of AD across the country, recycle the valuable nutrients present in food waste, divert food waste from landfill and generate renewable energy in the form of flexible constantly produced biogas. We hope to see further partnerships of this sort in the future, that enable the AD industry deliver its huge economic and environmental potential.”