Miscanthus grower gets RHI approval

Crops for Energy are proud to announce that our clients Tredethick Farm Cottages based in Lostwithiel, Cornwall have received full accreditation from Ofgem to receive rebates from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The project involves the district heating of eight holiday lets, a farmhouse and a swimming pool with a 199 kilowatt Eta biomass boiler fuelled with miscanthus. The project installed by Fair Energy based in Exeter is one of the first in the UK to be approved using an energy crop as a fuel.

The district heating scheme requires around 340,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of heating per year which will be provided from growing 5.7 hectares of miscanthus. The Tredethick project will be completely self sufficient from 2015 onwards. The field growing the miscanthus is adjacent to the barn containing the boiler. As a result, when harvested the miscanthus chip need only be moved 500 metres from the furthest point. By growing and using your own fuel you can insulate yourself from future price rises as the need for diesel to harvest and transport the crop is minimal.

By producing miscanthus (and SRC willow) to best practice standards on good agricultural land (grade2-3) you can achieve a fuel price of 1-1.25 pence per kWh. This assumes a moderate yield of 10.4 oven dry tonnes per hectare per year and takes into account lost revenue from a food crop of £225/ha/yr. Anyone currently using oil for their heating will be paying around 65p/litre of 6p/ kWh.  A production price of £50/tonne for miscanthus is equal to 1.02p/kWh. By offsetting oil at 6p/kWh you effectively achieve a gross margin from your land of £2,533/ha. No food crop gets near these figures. A winter wheat crop sold for feed yielding 8.35 tonnes/ha and achieving a grain price of £140/tonne would realize a gross margin of £673/ha.

In addition the project will receive a rebate of 7.9 p/kWh from the RHI. This might generate a further £20,000 plus income per year for the project.

There is no doubt whatsoever that growing you own wood fuel is a serious way of saving and making money. If you have a large heat load and can supply more than one building, you have your own land and the space to store the fuel then you really should be thinking of planting energy crops.

For Tredethick Farm Cottages we have assisted in the following ways:

  • Initial feasibility study looking at boiler size, woodfuel requirement, RHI rebate etc
  • Produced a project brief and requested quotes from several installers
  • Helped normalise the quotes so they were all on a level playing field
  • Negotiated a timetable with the chosen installer
  • Produced a woodfuel tender and negotiated an interim contract
  • Applied for an Energy Crops Scheme grant for planting 5.7 ha of miscanthus grass
  • Project managed the land preparation, planting and aftercare
  • Applied for RHI accreditation through Ofgem

For the client it has been a smooth ride with very little hassle and crucially they have not had to try and learn everything about bioenergy – they’ve simply employed us as trusted advocates to help them make the right decisions.

Tim Reed of Tredethick Farm Cottages says:

“I had actually been looking into this for several years – 3 or 4 years but the more research I did the more confused, I became so seven months ago I brought in Kevin Lindegaard of Crops for Energy to help me make the decision which made it all very clear because we can look at the pros and cons of every option and eventually we came up with the one which sounded the best.”

See: the interview with Tim Reed under the Lostwithiel case study at:


If you would like to get paid to keep warm give Crops for Energy a call on 0844 248 2901 or email us.