Iona Capital invests in a new biogas plant in South West Scotland
UK-headed Iona Capital Ltd (Iona), a specialist investor in low carbon infrastructure has financed the construction and operations of a new 8.8 MW anaerobic digestion (AD) plant located in Dumfries and Galloway. The biomethane-to-grid plant has been pre-qualified under the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
According to Iona, the principal feedstock will be waste slurries generated from local dairy and beef farming operations, underpinning the plant’s compliance with Ofgem, the National Regulatory Authority’s revised targets on sustainability.
The plant will have the capacity to generate 8.8 MW of base load renewable energy which is sufficient to heat around 7 000 households on an annual basis. The plant is being built by Germany-headed Bioconstruct GmbH, one of the leading European AD equipment suppliers. The biomethane will be upgraded into the local gas distribution network, controlled by Scotia Gas Networks.
The UK has set ambitious targets for renewable energy – 20 percent of the country’s energy generation by 2020 should be “green” power. Since its launch in 2011, Iona has financed 21 renewable energy projects in England, Scotland and Wales, all of which supply energy to the local grid networks.
As one of the renewable energy carriers, biomethane is poised for significant growth. This latest project follows on from two earlier successful biomethane-to-grid projects completed in Scotland at Keithick and St Boswells. The three plants will have a combined capacity in excess of 20 MW and provide significant operational synergies.
Creating a sustainable energy sector is a top priority for the UK and Iona’ s bioenergy projects provide both attractive commercial returns to investors as well as long term social and economic benefits to local communities and future generations, said Nick Ross, Director of Iona Capital.
Iona Capital’s main investment focus is within the anaerobic digestion (AD), energy-from-waste (EfW) and combined heat and power (CHP) sectors, and its investors in its LP3 Fund include a number of local authority pension funds. The value of the investment has not been dislcosed.