Mashed Potato Powered Factory

A factory that makes the traditional British dish of pie and mash has become the first factory in the world to be run entirely on power generated by potatoes.

Power is generated for the Cavaghan and Gray ready-meals plant in Carlisle, Cumbria, through a bio-refinery that converts leftover potatoes and peelings into electricity and steam.

The state-of-the-art green generator will produce 3,500 MWh a year, which is enough to supply power to 850 homes.

The potato-powered generator is also expected to produce 5,000 MWh a year in steam.

The potatoes used to create the power are taken from their own pie and mash food line, used to create ready-meals that are available in all major supermarkets.

The Birmingham-based 2 Sisters Food Group, which is the parent firm of Cavaghan and Gray, said the unique bio-refineries could soon see use at all their factories across the UK.

2 Sisters produces everything from Fox’s Biscuits to Goodfella’s Pizza and employs over 23,000 people from 36 different nationalities.

If they do expand their bio operation, potato power could soon be helping to produce everything from pizzas and pies, to puddings and poultry for millions of people across the country.

The Carlisle site is aiming to produce 35,000 tonnes of carbon savings a year, and hopes to slash the group’s carbon footprint by as much as 20%.

Andrew Edlin, 2 Sisters’ group sustainability director, said: “The bio-refinery is a world-first for the food industry. It uses a new type of super-efficient technology to generate energy from potato waste.”