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Redruth renewable energy firm’s £1 million expansion plans

By bevcoumbe  |  Posted: September 27, 2013

Mi Generation managing director John Black (centre) pictured with the new pelletisation machine, and Aimee Jones and Mark Hastings from the Truro office of Francis Clark.

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A Redruth-based renewable energy firm has kick started its £1 million expansion with a £180,000 grant creating eight new jobs.

Mi-Generation installs biomass boilers to businesses across the county, including hotels and colleges, burning wood pellets rather than using gas or oil.

The company, founded in 2010 by managing director John Black, employs 25 people and has hopes of opening a second pellet plant in Roche.

The company won the £180,000 Government Grant for Business Investment (GBI) to go towards the overall £480,000 cost of buying, installing and managing a new pelletisation machine and establishing a production plant using waste wood sourced in Cornwall.

The investment is the first part of a four-year £1m expansion scheme, with further expenditure in years two, three and four.

Mr Black said: “We are very happy to have successfully bid for this grant, which has helped us greatly to purchase this machine and expand our business as demand continues to grow.

“We started with just three staff 18 months ago and have already taken on more as a result of creating the new pelletisation plant, and plan to recruit another eight as business expands.”

He started Mi-Generation in Cornwall in 2010 after being inspired by the renewable energy market in Europe, and the young company is already establishing a customer base all over the UK for its biomass heating systems.

Customers benefit from cheaper heating costs, said Mr Black, with one holiday park who invested in a boiler saving £56,000 in year one and is predicted to have lowered its heating costs by £1.9million over 20 years.

He added: “We only use waste wood products from Cornish timber and saw mills to make the pellets so they are carbon neutral and a locally produced, renewable energy source.

“We can save customers currently using LPG around 70 per cent per annum when they switch to burning pellets.”

Highlighting a landmark report by the UN’s climate panel -which says scientists are 95 per cent certain that humans are to blame for global warming since the 1950s - he is expecting demand for pellets to grow.

“Biomass fuel is kinder to the environment, it also burns local waste wood products which means we are not governed by the price of oil from the Middle East and gas from Russia.”

The business was supported in its GBI grant application by accountants, Francis Clark, in Truro.

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