Iona Capital funds three Welsh biomass plants

Iona Capital received a £60m investment from two English pension funds last year to fund renewable energy projects.

UK private equity firm Iona Capital has invested in Newbridge Energy, a biomass developer currently constructing three plants in North Wales.

Iona Capital did not disclose the investment amount but said it will support three projects generating a combined 3MW of renewable energy and 12 MWh of reusable heat. The projects are expected to be in operation by the end of this year and have qualified for UK government subsidies, including Renewable Obligation Certificates and the Renewable Heat Incentive. This is Iona’s third clean energy investment in North Wales.

“Our investment in Newbridge Energy is another example of private infrastructure funds investing on a sustainable green agenda whilst promoting entrepreneurial businesses,” Nick Ross, joint managing director at Iona Capital, said in a statement.

Iona has financed over 20 renewable energy projects in England, Scotland and Wales over the past five years. It received a £60 million ($78.4 million; €70 million) commitment from Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the London Pensions Fund Authority last October to fund additional renewable energy projects. The first investment Iona made with this capital was £9 million towards a biomass plant in Essex.

The UK biomass market was active this summer with a flurry of commitments to finance projects. In August, the UK Green Investment Bank and Foresight Group pledged £13.2 million to build a 2.2MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Rufford, England. Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and a Scandinavian developer invested £160 million to build a 27.8MW CHP project in Kent, and Macquarie said it had reached financial close on a £900 million, 299MW CHP project in northeast England.