By Adveith Nair
LONDON (Reuters) - The Prince of Wales' private estate and financier Jacob Rothschild are among a group of investors who plan to invest more than 65 million pounds ($103 million) in a clean technology start-up focused on producing energy from organic waste matter.
The new company, Tamar Energy, will develop a network of over 40 anaerobic digestion plants to generate 100 megawatt of green electricity over the next five years, the consortium said on Wednesday.
The investor group is led by Rothschild's London-listed RIT Capital Partners and Fajr Capital, along with the Duchy of Cornwall, Lord Rothschild's Family Interests, and supermarket group J Sainsbury, among others.
Anaerobic Digestion is the conversion of organic waste material into biogas by bacteria. The methane-rich biogas can then be used either in a local generating plant to produce electricity, or cleaned and injected into the gas grid.
According to a report published last September by green energy consultancies, there are already 214 anaerobic digestion facilities in Britain, with a total installed generating capacity of 170 MW.
"This investment shows there are great business opportunities in this technology, creating heat and power to run homes and businesses and reducing the amount of organic waste that would otherwise lie rotting in landfill," Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said.
Sainsbury, which is investing 2 million pounds in the venture, said it will work with suppliers to ensure that they have access to Tamar's new plants, which it said would reduce waste in the supply chain.
($1 = 0.6321 British pounds)
(Reporting by Adveith Nair, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)