Low Carbon Farming - Delivering a World First for Decarbonisation

In Partnership with: Low Carbon Farming

ESB Energy Business Solutions  

Delivers a World-First for Decarbonisation  

In Partnership with: Low Carbon Farming

ESB Energy Business Solutions  

Delivers a World-First for Decarbonisation  

ESB Energy partnered with Low Carbon Farming to design, build and manage a renewable heating solution for the UK’s largest greenhouse complex. Located in East Anglia and covering two sites and 29 Hectares, the project now serves as a critical proof of concept in meeting the challenges of the UK’s post-Brexit food security needs, as well our 2030 carbon reduction targets.

Low Carbon Farming came to us with an ambitious vision to achieve a world-first: deliver a large scale greenhouse heating solution that would not rely on fossil fuels.  





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If we are to meet our carbon reduction targets, we need bold, innovative solutions like the one ESB Energy delivered for Low Carbon Farming

James Samsworth

Partner, Low Carbon Farming

The Challenge


The scale of the project presented a unique design challenge, while the global pandemic created additional logistical issues. Among them: the procurement of the heat pumps from Northern Italy, the heart of Europe’s outbreak. In the midst of nationwide lockdowns, a tremendous cross-border collaborative effort secured their delivery in March 2020.

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The Solutions

Inspired by the observation that water recycling plants expel tens of thousands of litres of clean warm water per second, at temperatures up to 25C, the solution was designed to capture the heat energy wasted.  

This innovation marks a development in heat pump technology that will support the electrification of heat, and make low carbon heating more accessible to large energy users in areas of dense population across every sector.  

Two heat exchanger buildings capture 72MW of waste heat from nearby water recycling facilities and transport it 2.5miles to the greenhouses. Gas-fired CHP units provide the electricity for the heat pumps, while providing the necessary CO2 to feed the plants in the greenhouse.


The Results 


  • 72MW of thermal power generated—enough to heat nearly 20,000 new homes 

  • 75% lower carbon emissions than traditional greenhouses 

  • 90% of heat required produced on-site by heat pumps 

  • Most efficient system of its kind in the UK

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The Competitive Advantages 

  • Energy supply resilience 

  • Reduced dependence on food imports  

  • 10X less water used than traditional farming 

  • 10X more yield per hectare than a field 

  • Greenhouses are capable of producing 12% of tomatoes consumed in the UK 

  • 360 permanent jobs created in the area 

Dramatically Reduce Your Energy Cost


ESB Energy works in partnership with large energy users to deliver sustainable solutions that dramatically reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.


  • Unparalleled expertise in the energy sector
  • An international network of technology partners
  • Advanced energy monitoring and analytics
  • Project financing with no upfront investment required

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Success Stories

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