Greenhouses get even greener in new £120m project

Greencoat Capital has announced plans to build two large-scale and sustainable greenhouses near Norwich and Bury St Edmunds

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Greencoat Capital has announced plans to build two large-scale and sustainable greenhouses at farms near Norwich and Bury St Edmunds.

The renewable investor says the £120 million project will see the structures warmed by residual heat from nearby Anglian Water water recycling centres, which will be transported around the facilities with closed loop heat pumps.

The firm says the technology will provide the additional benefit of cooling the greenhouses’ treated water outflows.

Electricity for the heat pumps will be provided by a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant, the carbon dioxide emissions of which will be piped into the greenhouses, accelerating the growth of the plants as they absorb the bulk of the gas.

Greencoat Capital expects the greenhouses will be able to cut the carbon footprint of fruit and vegetables produced by as much as 75%.

The project is expected to reach completion in autumn 2020 – covering more than 13 hectares each, they will be capable of growing more than 20 tonnes of tomatoes every day, around 12% of total UK production.

James Samworth, Partner at Greencoat Capital, said: “Technology and cross-sector cooperation 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.”