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Bootiful Deal for Turkeys

27 June 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970
Lumicity, a leading specialist in developing renewable energy, has succeeded in delivering the UK’s largest ever distributed heat project, refitting over 40% of Bernard Matthews’ estate with biomass boilers. The project has reduced Bernard Matthews’ fuel costs by 25%, saving the company millions of pounds per year, while also reducing carbon emissions.

At the moment, the boilers are set up to burn wood chip and bedding from the poultry sheds. However, under the EU’s Waste Incineration Directive (WDI), poultry waste has now been re-classified as a byproduct, so from 2015 onwards it can also be used as fuel. This means that Bernard Matthews will be able to burn poultry waste in the boilers, which will further reduce fuel bills and cut the cost of transport to dispose of the bedding.

The project represented a significant logistical challenge, simultaneously designing, securing planning for, and constructing 179 different biomass heating systems. At the same time, it faced a major financial challenge in securing £24.5 million of financing for which Lumicity approached the UK GIB and its Energy Saving Investments Fund. Securing this figure from the UK GIB for a distributed heat project was said to be ‘unprecedented’.

The project should pave the way for other large distributed heat initiatives in the food and farming sectors. It has shown that these projects can be retrofitted at scale, and that attractive financing options are available for those looking in the right places.


Pictured: Biomass boilers have led to significant savings and reduction in emissions at Bernard Matthews Farms.


Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 27 June 2014


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