The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and Equitix have announced a £24.5m investment to finance the installation of renewable energy boilers at Bernard Matthews’ turkey farms.
The project, the largest of its kind, will see 179 new biomass boilers installed across 21 farms in Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire, meaning that 40 per cent of Bernard Matthews’ estate will benefit from the new renewable energy technology.
UK Green Investment Bank chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said: “Across the UK, GIB is starting to see some excellent examples, from farsighted companies, of the commercial benefits that come from investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation.
“These benefits can be significant, especially for energy intensive industries, including many parts of the farming industry.”
The project was conceived, designed, and managed by Lumicity, a leading renewable energy developer.
In addition to reducing costs, the new boilers will have a significant green impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The dry heat biomass systems will also produce a number of benefits due to the improved circulation of heat, including reduced ammonia levels, reduced ventilation requirements, and increased litter (bedding) quality.
The Equitix managed fund, Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which GIB is the cornerstone investor, is investing £12m in the project.
This mobilises an additional £12.5m of additional private sector capital from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF).
Bernard Matthews executive chairman David Joll said: “Sustainability is central to our long term business strategy.
“We’re already generating a large proportion of our energy needs from other renewable sources including solar and wind and with the addition of biomass boilers on our farms, we’re well placed to be generating 100 per cent of our energy sustainably by 2016.”
Business secretary Vince Cable said: “We set up the UK Green Investment Bank to kick start investment in renewable energy technology like this. Bernard Matthews has seen that energy efficiency makes good business sense and I am confident that more companies will follow.
“Today’s investment will have a significant green impact by reducing carbon emissions and benefits local economies by creating green jobs across three counties.”