JLEN seals first bioenergy deal

The fund has bought the 5MW Vulcan Renewables facility – the first commercial biogas project to be connected to the National Grid when it was launched in 2013.

London-listed renewables fund John Laing Environmental Assets Group has made its first investment in bioenergy following a £15.3 million ($19.8 million; €16.4 million) deal.

The fund has bought the 5MW Vulcan Renewables project from venture capital trusts managed by investment firm Downing. The site is equipped with a 0.5MW combined heat and power engine and benefits from both Renewable Heat Incentive and feed-in tariff subsidies.

The project was the first commercial biogas connection commissioned by the National Grid when it began operating in October 2013, supplying biomethane to the grid.

“We are pleased to make our first investment in the anaerobic digestion sector through Vulcan Renewables, a project with a proven operational history,” said Richard Morse, chairman of JLEN. “With its RPI-linked RHI and FiT revenue streams, the project adds to the diversification of the JLEN portfolio.”

The deal is the latest in a raft of investments in the UK’s bioenergy market in recent months, including Bioenergy Infrastructure Group’s acquisition of 20 assets from the revamped Green Investment Group earlier this month. Meanwhile, Ancala Partners launched a new bioenergy platform in April, beginning with an investment in plant operator Biogen, while Iona Capital has raised at least £100 million for its fourth bioenergy fund which could reach up to £250 million.