E.ON has secured a contract to take over the combined heat and power (CHP) operations for Red Roofs Nursery Ltd, improving the efficiency and reliability of energy generation on two commercial growing sites and helping the company to maximise commercial access to wholesale energy markets.

The 15-year agreement will see E.ON acquire two on-site energy centres in Cottingham, East Yorkshire, helping Red Roofs with greater certainty around energy costs and improved efficiency and reliability for what is a key part of the company’s operations. E.ON will make significant investment in the plant to improve performance and enable remote monitoring of the equipment.
The two sites will be connected to E.ON’s 24/7 remote management centre. E.ON will also acquire, operate and maintain the existing assets so they are able to provide backup energy services to the UK’s national grid. By making spare electricity generation available to the grid at times of peak power demand, Red Roofs can unlock the commercial benefits available to the UK electricity market whilst ensuring that their operational requirements are met.
Red Roofs owner Chris Durnford said: “Managing our on-site energy systems was beginning to take too much of my time away from our core business of running the nursery. Our agreement with E.ON allows us to invest further in the nursery and continue running a successful business with a small management team, while they concentrate on providing us with a reliable engine that will be monitored 24/7.
“The engines produce clean flue gas for enriching our crops with CO2 to maximise the yield of the crop. Improving the reliability will also allow us to maximise the income from the engines through the energy markets. In the future I hope to see us working closer together on maximising the benefits of on-site generation. As the energy market is always changing it will be good to be a partner with a major company to develop future projects as things change and our company grows.”
Richard Suthon from E.ON added: “In upgrading and optimising the energy operations on site we can ensure Red Roofs has a more reliable and efficient energy supply that allows the business to get on with what they do best – providing quality fresh produce for British shoppers. Alongside that, we can use our expertise in energy solutions to maximise efficiency and deliver guaranteed performance of the plant within a flexible operation strategy.
“E.ON is well placed to deliver integrated energy solutions for the agricultural and horticultural sector, helping to combine on-site energy technology with customers’ operational needs, and to explore opportunities in the energy markets where customers can benefit from providing backup power sources for the UK grid.”