Cheese by-product to help heat equivalent of 800 homes a year

North Yorkshire based Wensleydale Creamery is to produce over 10,000 MWh of energy per year from whey permeate, a by-product of cheese making; enough to heat an impressive 800 homes a year.

Iona Capital, a low carbon sustainable fund manager, has secured a deal with the  manufacturer which will see Iona’s Leeming Biogas plant in North Yorkshire process the valuable by-product produced during the manufacturing of Wensleydale cheese.

This will then be turned it into nearly one million cubic metres of green gas. Using anaerobic digestion, the venture will in turn produce 10,000 MWh of thermal power, enough to heat 800 homes per year.

The Wensleydale Creamery, producer of Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, produces 4000 tonnes of cheese every year at its dairy in Hawes. The agreement between Iona and the Wensleydale Creamery is part of the development of Iona Capital’s growing portfolio of assets.

The fund manager has already established nine anaerobic digestion facilities across Yorkshire, investing £100m in the region, as well as opening its York office in June 2018. The renewable energy plants save the equivalent of 37,300 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Mike Dunn, Co-Founder of Iona, said: “This partnership with Wensleydale not only shows how we are turning waste food products into useful energy for homes and business, but also our commitment to Yorkshire. 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.”