Biomass district on track

Ceredigion County Council is to install a biomass district heating system, in collaboration with Atkins, to provide a sustainable heat source for the new County Council and Welsh Assembly offices in Aberystwyth.

The new system aims to save thousands of pounds on fuel costs, help reduce CO2 emissions and assist the local economy through the supply of biomass fuel needed to run the system. Future plans may find the system used as a heating source for other public buildings such as local schools and leisure centres.

The Aberystwyth project follows the installation of a system at Penmorfa, the main council office and Min y Mor residential home, as well as Penrodyn sheltered accommodation. The council first introduced the projects to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and move it closer to self-sufficiency.

Atkins’ head of technology Chris Tuthill said: ‘Producing energy from biomass addresses all aspects of sustainability with social, environmental and economic advantages. It is a carbon neutral process, as the CO2 released when energy is generated from biomass is balanced by that absorbed during the fuel’s production. Furthermore, biomass can contribute to waste management by harnessing energy from some timber products that are often disposed of at landfill sites.’

Tuthill added: ‘It is most cost effective when a local fuel source is used, which results in local investment and employment and also minimises transport miles and increases the security of supply.’