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Foresight to fund London on-farm AD plant

The UK Green Investment Bank-run fund manager Foresight has invested in a £15m anaerobic digestion (AD) and composting plant in North London.

The 1.2 MWe facility will be built on farm land in Enfield and process up to 30,000 tonnes of food waste a year collected from hotels, restaurants and retailers, as well as local food manufacturers.

The plant is expected to generate 7,400 MWh of renewable electricity every year, or enough to power 1,750 homes.

It will also turn garden waste from homes across London and the Northern Home Counties into agricultural compost for the farmers who own the land that the facility will sit on. The GIB estimates that this process will result in annual savings of £120,000 for the farmers.

The plant will be built by developer D. Williams & Co on its own land at Cattlegate Farm.

Construction is due to start next month and the facility is expected to be operational by 2016.

The GIB’s Foresight-managed fund, UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments (UKWREI), has invested £7.5m in the project, with the Foresight Environmental Fund (FEF) providing another £7.5m. FEF’s main investors are the European Investment Bank and the London Waste and Recycling Board.

The move follows the GIB’s investment in the TEG Biogas plant in Dagenham, which was London’s first commercial scale AD plant.

Speaking at the official opening of the TEG plant last month, the business secretary Vince Cable told MRW that the capital could accomodate 20 similar facilities - if sites could be found for them.

On the new Enfield plant, Cable said: “This new plant will mean less of our waste going to landfill, less reliance on fossil fuels for energy generation and provides compost for the farmers whose land it is built on.”

Foresight partner Nigel Aitchison said: “Our team has been working extensively with the developer, technical advisers and other parties for over 18 months, so it is heartening to see that work come to fruition.

“This is the second project where both the Foresight Environmental Fund and the UK Waste Renewable Energy Investments have invested alongside each other to provide the majority of the equity and the first where they have provided the full project capital needed.”

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