Project Fen – UK’s Most Advanced Greenhouse
25th April 2021
DWPF provided Greencoat Capital with transaction modelling support in relation to their £86m investment in the UK’s most advanced greenhouse at a site near Ely, Cambridgeshire.
In a world first, the site will employ LED lighting to accelerate growth, whilst warming the structure using heat pumps situated in a nearby reservoir. Open loop heat pumps will be used to transfer the heat from the nearby reservoir to the greenhouses. Power for the greenhouse’s heat pumps and LED lighting will be provided by a Combined Heat and Power (“CHP”) plant, with waste heat from the CHP providing further warmth for the greenhouses.
The gas-fired CHP plant’s carbon emissions will then be transferred into the greenhouses, raising the CO2 levels and further accelerating the growth of the plants, whilst capturing the carbon.
The greenhouse is among the largest ever constructed in the UK with a footprint of over 22Ha. Standing around 8m tall the large glass structures allow crops to grow vertically along guidewires, and do not require any soil, instead being grown hydroponically from nutrient rich water solutions. Once in full production, the greenhouse will yield an average crop of 35 tonnes of cucumbers per day across the year.