£5.5m contract win for listed utilities services company

Terry Dugdale
X The Business Desk

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Utilities services provider Fulcrum has won a £5.5m contract which will support the decarbonisation of the UK agriculture sector, by powering a new 22-hectare renewably heated vegetable growing facility. 

Working with a low carbon energy projects specialist, AGR Renewables, the Sheffield-based Group has been hired to deliver electricity, gas and water infrastructure for Greencoat Capital’s latest large-scale greenhouse near Ely, Cambridgeshire.

It will be one of the largest greenhouses in the UK and will have the capacity to grow 10% of all the cucumbers consumed in Britain. 

Fulcrum will design and install 7km of electricity infrastructure, 12.5km of gas infrastructure and 2.9km of water infrastructure and will provide network connections to a new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Energy Centre next to the greenhouse. 

The Energy Centre will power open loop heat pumps, which will use heat from the nearby reservoir to warm the greenhouse.

The renewable heating process will deliver a 30% reduction in CO2 compared to conventionally heated greenhouses. It will also use 10 times less water than is used for field-grown vegetables.

Terry Dugdale, Fulcrum CEO, said: “We are delighted to be using our capabilities and expertise to power this greenhouse, which will support the decarbonisation of the UK agriculture sector and help reduce food mileage.

“With 85% of the UK’s cucumbers imported from abroad, these huge greenhouses have the capability to increase the volume of home-grown vegetables in a sustainable way through methods that use renewable, low carbon energy.

“We have worked closely with AGR and Greencoat, bringing our experience of multi-utility infrastructure and CHP energy centres to ensure this project can be delivered to a relatively short timescale, so vegetable production can begin early next year.”