Fife Council has begun work on one of Scotland’s largest district heat networks. The scheme, which has already attracted a great deal of attention and interest, is fairly unique as it utilises the availability of an existing large biomass combined heat and power plant currently owned by RWE. As Ross Tulloch, programme manager for Glenrothes Energy Network at the Council explains, the opportunity to work towards a district heating network for council buildings began in talks with RWE, who originally installed the biomass boiler for the nearby Tullis Russell paper mill. “The scheme matured through detailed discussions and feasibility studies over the course of a few years. The council then managed to secure funding for the scheme, which we estimate has total costs in the region of £23.9 million. RWE are in partnership with us on this project , and they have committed £13.573m, which was used to secure repayable assistance of £8.5m from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP), which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund” Tulloch comments. Dr. Mark Picton, RWE site manager for the Markinch CHP plant, points out that the basis for the present district heating system dates back to 2010, when Tullis Russell were unhappy with the efficiency of the coal-fired power plant on the site. On March 26th this year Fife Council officially gave the go-ahead for the Glenrothes Energy Network. As Picton explains, RWE’s role in the partnership commits it to building an Energy Centre on the old Tullis Russell site that will receive steam from the CHP plant, convert it to hot water and thereby drive the district heating network. “We plan to have the Energy Centre in operation by January 2019 and whilst the project won’t generate additional long term jobs, the CHP is already generating significant local employment opportunities. We employ some 40 local people as part of RWE Markinch, and there are a similar number of subcontractors providing services such as security, industrial cleaning and fuel delivery work,” he explains. The CHP plant burns around 450,000 tonnes of biomass a year, of which around 90% is classified as RCF, or recovered cellulose fibre – waste wood by any other name. The rest is wood from sustainable Scottish forests. All the wood is delivered in the form of wood chip, by a fleet of wagons, which can number up to 70 a day.
Herald 30th April 2018 http://www.heraldscotland.com/business_hq/16194156.COMMERCIAL_FOCUS__New___24m_district_heating_scheme_in_Fife_will_bring_power_to_the_people/