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Foresight Group announces investment in anaerobic digestion plant at Old Quarrington, Durham

New anaerobic digestion plant to boost the renewable energy industry in the North East.

Foresight Group has announced the first investment made by the recently announced £50m Recycling and Waste LP fund, backed by the UK Green Investment Bank plc. The £4m investment, which is being made in partnership with the SQN Asset Finance Income Fund Limited, will be used to build an on-farm anaerobic digestion1 plant at Old Quarrington, Durham.  

The fund is investing £2m alongside co-investment of £2m by SQN Asset Finance Income Fund Limited, made on the same terms as the fund. The Old Quarrington project has been developed by a farming family business based near Durham. The project will receive revenue under the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes.
 
Throughout its 20-year lifespan the project is expected to generate 3,400 MWh electricity, enough renewable energy to power 800 households, and 3,300 MWh heat. It is also forecast to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3,000 t CO2e per annum, equivalent to taking 1,400 cars off the road. The generated heat will be used by an adjacent woodchip drying facility, creating an extra revenue stream for the farm.

Although the first investment made by Foresight’s RAW fund, which targets smaller-scale recycling and waste projects across the UK, this is the third such project supported by Foresight and Green Investment Bank, following its investments in PAR and Bridge Energy in Northern Ireland last year through Foresight’s UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments LP (UKWREI) fund.
 
Williams Industrial Services, who developed with Foresight the two Northern Ireland projects, will be responsible for constructing the plants under an EPC contract, as well as providing ongoing maintenance services.
  
“We’re thrilled to announce the first investment by the RAW fund," said Charles Sheldon, investment analyst at Foresight Group. "The short time taken, just eight weeks, from the announcement of the fund to the completion of the first investment is a significant achievement and is a reflection of the volume of pipeline for anaerobic digestion, the demand for AD and the knowledge of the sector by our co-investor SQN.”
 
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  1. Anaerobic digestion is a natural process which takes organic matter and breaks it down, producing a gas which is turned into electricity. This power will be exported to the national grid. The process also creates digestate, a natural by-product which can be spread on the land as a fertiliser, saving money and returning nutrients to the land.

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