Fund manager Iona Capita has signed up the Wensleydale Creamery (at Hawes, in the Yorkshire Dales) and will use the creamery’s whey by-product as feedstock for Iona’s Leeming biogas plant. The venture will in turn produce 10,000 MWh of thermal power, enough to heat 800 homes per year.
The fund manager has already established nine anaerobic digestion facilities across Yorkshire, investing £100 million. Mike Dunn, co-founder of Iona, said: “Once we have converted the cheese by-product supplied by Wensleydale into sustainable green gas, we can feed what’s left at the end of the process onto neighbouring farmland to improve local topsoil quality. This shows the real impact of the circular economy and the part intelligent investment can play in reducing our CO2 emissions.”
The Wensleydale Creamery’s managing director, David Hartley, said: “The whole process of converting local milk to premium cheese and then deriving environmental and economic benefit from the natural by-products is an essential part of our business plan as a proud rural business. It is only possible as a result of significant and continued investments in our Wensleydale Creamery at Hawes and to sign this agreement and have the opportunity to convert a valuable by-product of cheese making into energy that will power hundreds of homes across the region will be fantastic for everyone involved.”