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Scottish council confirms long-term health of biomass projects

The Highland Council (THC) in Scotland has awarded a long-term contract for the servicing, maintenance and repair of biomass installations, including the supply of wood fuel, across 59 sites.

The £1.2 million (€1.4 million) per annum contract went to Fort William-based biomass heat company HWEnergy and will last for four years.

As many Highland communities are off the gas network, biomass offers an alternative to more traditional fossil fuels. The deal is expected to result in projected savings of £900,000 a year across the 59 sites, 40% less than the cost of heating from oil. The initiative will also see a combined carbon saving of 7,500 tonnes per annum, the equivalent to 30 million car miles off the road each year.

THC claims it is the first local authority to embrace the Scottish government’s Biomass Energy Supply Agreement framework for public and third sector, introduced earlier this year, designed to help achieve the government’s target of 11% of heat generated through renewable sources by 2020.

Councillor, and leader of THC, Drew Hendry says: ‘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.’