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Highland Council set to save £1M a year through biomass heating

2nd July 2013

Photograph of Highland Council set to save £1M a year through biomass heating

Council Leads the Charge on Green Energy Provision.

The Highland Council is demonstrating its commitment to providing cleaner, greener energy for its sites with the award of a 4 year, £1.2M per annum contract for the servicing, maintenance and repair of biomass installations including the supply of woodfuel.

By making the switch to a renewable heat source the Council has demonstrated its commitment to providing a cleaner, greener energy source for its sites. As many Highland communities are off the gas network biomass offers an attractive alternative to more traditional fossil fuels.

The contract, awarded to Fort William based biomass heat specialists HWEnergy, will include service and maintenance, installation and heat supply across 59 of its sites and will result in projected savings of £900,000 a year, 40% less than the cost of heating from oil. In addition the initiative will see a combined carbon saving of 7,500 tonnes per annum, the equivalent to 30million car miles off the road per annum.

The Highland Council are the first local authority to embrace the Scottish Government’s Biomass Energy Supply Agreement Framework for public and third sector, introduced earlier this year and designed to help achieve the government’s target of 11% of heat generated through renewable sources by 2020.

Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry said: “We have a responsibility as a major public body and employer to create a greener healthier future. We have been taking steps to move away from the more traditional heat sources toward a renewable alternative in recent years and have already brought biomass boilers on to various sites across the Highlands, with further installations planned over next few years.

“The contract with HWEnergy to fully manage and operate these boilers really consolidates our commitment to providing a renewable source of heat to our sites, including schools, leisure centres and care homes, both now and long into the future.

“Biomass heat allows us to generate significant cost savings against oil which we can use to support other services in the area, it creates huge carbon savings which helps the environment and indirectly through local fuel supply it helps stimulate jobs and the local economy. It’s a win win situation all round.

“For us, having HWEnergy provide a one-stop shop including the supply of the fuel, all servicing and maintenance significantly reduces our day-to-day involvement and provides a single point of accountability to make sure the biomass systems deliver the cost and carbon savings.”

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This contract is great news for Highland Council and HWEnergy. It demonstrates that collaborative procurement can contribute to efficient services and economic growth at local levels.

“The Council’s roll-out of this innovative Scottish Government framework supports the delivery of the ‘A Low Carbon Scotland’ by reducing CO2 output. It will also contribute to the Scottish Government’s target of 11% of total heat demand from renewable energy by 2020.”

The contract, which began on 1st July, will see biomass specialists HWEnergy provide a fully managed service including bi-annual servicing, routine maintenance, a reactive repairs service, heat supply and remote monitoring to 59 Highland Council sites.

Fuel for this contract will be supplied from a network of sustainable sources in Scotland and will be a combination of wood chips and pellets.

Bruno Berardelli, Managing Director of HWEnergy said: “We are seeing a steady growth in biomass heating across Scotland and beyond as organisations of all sizes realise the tangible benefits.

“Biomass heat can now be supplied in exactly the same way as any other energy contract with us providing a fully managed service that gives customers certainty on performance, on price and on cost and carbon savings.

“The award of this contract and The Highland Council’s commitment to biomass as a heat source will allow us to take on two new apprentices and one full time contracts manager to help service the contract bringing the HWEnergy in-house team to more than 50 with staff based right across Scotland.”

Site earmarked but not yet all confirmed for Biomass projects in Caithenss are -
Bayview House, Olrig Street, Thurso, KW14 7JZ
Castletown Primary School, Castletown, Thurso KW14 8UA
Halkirk Primary School, Braal Road,Halkirk KW12 7YJ
Lybster Primary School, Main Street, Lybster, KW3 6BJ
Thurso High School, Ormlie Road, Thurso, KW14 7DS
Thurso Swimming Pool,Millbank Road, Thurso, KW14 8PS


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