Greencoat Capital announces $148m low-carbon greenhouse project in UK

WCN Editorial Team 4 Oct 2019 EUROPE BUILDINGS

Renewable energy investor Greencoat Capital has announced a £120m ($147.9m) project to build two greenhouses at farmland sites near Norwich and Bury St Edmunds in the UK.

Expected to be the UK’s largest of its kind upon completion, the two greenhouses will be bigger than the O2 Arena and will use waste heat from the nearby Anglian Water-owned water recycling centres.

Greencoat Capital plans to commence construction immediately and complete the project in 2020.

Greencoat Capital partner James Samworth said: “We’re very pleased to have achieved another innovative first in the UK renewable energy sector.

“Technology and cross-sector co-operation is continuing to unlock some amazing possibilities in energy and agriculture. We see considerable opportunity to invest in renewable heat in the UK, providing pensions investors with the predictable returns they require to pay beneficiaries, meanwhile reducing our carbon emissions as an economy.”

Expected to create 360 permanent jobs once operational, the greenhouses will reduce the carbon footprint of food produce by 75% compared to European equivalents.

Greencoat Capital said that closed-loop heat pumps will transfer the heat from the water recycling centres to the greenhouses, which are claimed to provide ideal growing conditions for a range of plants and vegetables.

A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant will be built to provide power to the greenhouse’s heat pumps as well as waste heat to provide further warmth for the greenhouses.

Greencoat said in a statement: “The gas-fired CHP plant’s carbon emissions will be transferred into the greenhouses, raising the CO2 levels and further accelerating the growth of the plants, and capturing the majority of the carbon.”

ESB will be responsible for the construction of the closed-loop heat pumps, CHP plant and manage the energy centre, while BOM Group will be responsible for the construction of the glasshouses.

Anglian Water environmental quality head Dr Lu Gilfoyle said: “It has been great to be involved in such an innovative project, helping to solve a number of challenges for Anglian. Removing excess heat from the river systems is a priority for DEFRA and ourselves, and it is fantastic to be able to put that heat energy to good use.”

Image: The two new greenhouses will be the UK’s largest of its kind upon completion. Photo: courtesy of Free-Photos from Pixabay.

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