Farmgen talks prisoner power

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The Independent Online

A Lancashire prison could become the first in the country to be powered by its own crops, if talks with the green energy specialist Farmgen are successful.

The group – set up by Simon Rigby, who made £22m from selling his Spice utility services group to private equity – is in "advanced discussions" with Kirkham Open Prison about plans to fuel a £3m anaerobic digestion power plant the company wants to build nearby with the 65 acres of crops grown by inmates. In return, the plant will supply all the prison's power.

The Cooper House Farm scheme is just one part of Farmgen's plans to invest £30m in anaerobic digestion plants. The first facility, at Carr Farm in Warton, is set to start producing electricity in March and construction has started at a second site in Cumbria.