Scot Heat & Power has secured a significant competitive tender to supply biomass fuel to the University of St Andrews as part of an innovative £25million green energy project.
The Broxburn-based biomass energy specialist will supply round wood for the next five years to the Guardbridge Energy Centre – a macro-renewable project on the site of the former Curtis Fine Papers Mill – that is supporting the University’s aim of becoming the UK’s first carbon neutral institution of its kind.
The biomass Energy Centre will use virgin round wood, sourced locally from sustainably managed forests by Scot Heat & Power to produce and store hot water.
This will then be pumped four miles underground to the University’s North Haugh Campus via a district heating network that will heat and cool its administration and academic building, as well as its laboratories and residences.
The Energy Centre will use between 15,000 and 20,000 tonnes of round wood per year, worth over £3m in total, which will be supplied to a strict specification.
Established in 2010 to meet the growing demand for an environmentally sustainable means of producing renewable heat, Scot Heat & Power says that “it is proud to be supporting the University’s comprehensive drive for carbon savings”.
The company’s Managing Director, Malcolm Snowie, said: “Scot Heat & Power is pleased to be working closely with the University of St Andrews to realise this key strategic step in its ambition to become carbon neutral.
“In recognising the highly efficient renewable benefits of biomass energy, Scotland’s oldest university has now placed itself at the forefront of green energy innovation, allowing it to reap the rewards of lowered costs and heightened performance.
“It will also firmly place St Andrews in the driving seat as it looks to attain the status of first university to reach such an important accolade in future sustainability.
“We are certain that the project will deliver a strong environmental return for decades to come, more than repaying the confidence that has been invested in it.”
The facility – expected to be fully commissioned in early in 2017 – will complement plans for a six-turbine 12MW wind power development on university land at Kenly, four miles east of St Andrews.
The Energy Centre and heat distribution network was granted £11million in funding from the EU.
The Scottish Funding Council has also backed the centre with a £10m grant with the remaining £4m coming from the University itself.