Multi-million pound investment sees construction commence on new green energy plant in Sheffield

UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and Equitix have announced a commitment to fund the construction of a £30 million (€43 million) energy facility in Sheffield.

The Equitix managed fund Energy Savings Investments (ESI), in which GIB is a cornerstone investor, is investing £14.6 million in the project. An additional £15 million of private capital has been mobilised from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF).

The plant is to be built in the Holbrook area of the city and was developed by UYE (UK). It will generate over 6.5MW of green electricity and will be built as combined heat and power (CHP) 'ready' with the potential to supply heat to more than 6,700 local homes and commercial properties.

It is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 12,700 tonnes of CO2e per year, the equivalent of taking 5,700 cars off the road for the life of the project.

Kantor Energy a specialist district heat design and build engineering firm, will act as the EPC principal contractor. The scheme's biomass boiler and flue gas cleaning systems are being supplied by biomass specialists VAS Energy Systems International. Turboden Srl will supply the clean electricity generation equipment.

Once operational the project will sell electricity to GDF Suez UK under a long-term power off take agreement and Veolia Energy Services has been awarded the long-term operations and maintenance contract.

The development is expected to create 60 jobs during construction and a further 15 full-time positions once operational.

Stephen Brooks, director, UYE (UK), says: 'It has taken us over five years and almost half a million pounds to get this project designed, consented and funded and we are absolutely delighted that the UK Green Investment Bank and Equitix have had the courage and commitment to work with a local, small private company and fund this community-scale CHP ready project.

'We see that these local, community-scale energy generation projects are one of the ways to reduce carbon emissions, reduce grid losses and generate useable, sustainable and affordable heat for local communities. This project is the first in our proposed portfolio of similar developments.'

Geoff Jackson, chief executive director, Equitix, adds: 'Closing this deal marks a significant milestone for Equitix; it is the first community-scale biomass project in our energy efficiency portfolio and delivers beneficial carbon savings to the environment. We expect to see similar deals closing in the coming months and through these investments will continue to do what we set out to do: creating a more sustainable UK.'

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