Construction begins on £25m green energy centre in Scotland

Amber Infrastructure, a sponsor and manager of social and economic infrastructure projects, has announced the official start of construction on a £25 million (€35 million) green energy centre at Guardbridge in Fife, a project being developed by St. Andrews University which is part-financed by Amber's Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres fund (SPRUCE).

The site of the biomass facility has been handed over to the construction team to start work by Deputy First Minister of Scotland and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy, John Swinney MSP.

Using only wood from sustainable local sources, the centre will be built on the site of a former paper mill at Guardbridge and will distribute hot water from the plant to heat and cool laboratories and student residences four miles away in St Andrews.

As the only lender in the project, SPRUCE – the Amber-managed fund which offers loans to regeneration and energy efficiency projects in 13 local authority areas in Scotland – is providing the 9-year loan facility to the University.

University of St Andrews COO Derek Watson says: 'After years of planning and consultation we are now seeing this project get under way. The start of construction work at Guardbridge represents a major strategic step for the University. We are committed to becoming carbon neutral for energy and this large industrial site lends itself to the creation of a range of renewable energies which are vital to our efforts to remain one of Europe's leading research institutions. With the biomass at its heart, we believe the diverse range of potential uses at Guardbridge has the capacity to re-establish this huge site as a key economic centre in Fife.'

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