7 July 2020 by James Langley

SmartestEnergy signs 15-year Newhurst EfW deal

SmartestEnergy has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement deal to buy the electricity generated at the Newhurst energy from waste (EfW) facility in Leicestershire.

The deal has been announced a day after waste management company Biffa revealed construction of the plant had begun.

Construction of Biffa’s Newhurst facility began on 7 July

The plant, which is under development by joint venture partners Biffa, Covanta Holding Corporation and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), will take in up to 350,000 tonnes of non-recyclable municipal solid waste per year and is due to be operational in 2023.

Newhurst is to generate up to 42 megawatts of electricity, which SmartestEnergy says is enough to power around 80,000 homes.


Robert Luke, head of renewable origination for SmartestEnergy’s Smart Generation team, said: “Generators are increasingly looking for innovative approaches to help them play their part in the development of a smarter energy landscape in the UK and our persistence and willingness to find commercial and legal solutions on this project has underlined SmartestEnergy’s credentials as a next generation company.

“The scale and complexity of this agreement required SmartestEnergy to develop a commercial solution that delivers value for all the partners and investors involved.”

SmartestEnergy says it buys electricity from more than 500 projects and is a licensed electricity supplier to more than 2,500 UK businesses. The company is a subsidiary of Japanese sōgō shōsha Marubeni.


Construction of the Newhurst facility, began yesterday (6 July) and is expected to create 300 jobs.

“The facility will be a significant addition to the UK’s waste management infrastructure”


Biffa said: “We’re thrilled that work has begun to construct the Newhurst Energy Recovery Facility in Leicestershire, a joint venture by Biffa plc, Covanta & Macquarie’s Green Investment Group.

“The facility, which is being constructed by Hitachi Zosen Inova, will be a significant addition to the UK’s waste management infrastructure.”


The joint venture partners announced financial close on the Newhurst facility in February (see letsrecycle.com story).

An artist’s impression of the Newhurst EfW facility

Planning permission for the plant was granted by the secretary of state in 2012. Biffa applied to increase the plant’s capacity in 2018 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Biffa will provide 70% of the facility’s fuel each year from its existing waste collection services, while Covanta will supply operations and maintenance services.

The Newhurst facility is one of two EfW projects currently proposed by Biffa, Covanta and GIG. The joint venture has also proposed building a plant at the Protos Energy Park near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire (see letsrecycle.com story).


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