South west invests in bioheat

Defra has awarded the South West Regional Development Agency £3m to invest in a series of bioheat projects


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has awarded the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) £3m to invest in a series of bioheat projects



The award results from of the South West Bioheat Programme, which was launched last year with £650,000 funding from the SWRDA and £10,000 from the Forestry Commission.



Run by the south west’s renewable energy agency, Regen SW, the programme has been identifying and providing support to potential bioheat projects in the region, as well as setting up a supply chain to provide wood fuel and offering training courses relevant to the industry.



The South West Bioheat Programme has identified 30 potential projects for funding and Defra is releasing £3m from its Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme to help make them a reality.



Together the projects could provide up to 32MW of renewable heat, saving an estimated 7,000 tonnes of carbon a year by replacing oil fired heating systems with wood-fuelled systems.



Defra’s Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme was set up to support the installation of biomass-fuelled heat and combined heat and power projects in the industrial, commercial and community sectors.



Among the 30 projects that Regen SW has identified for potential bioheat plants are the Met Office in Exeter and Dairy Crest’s creamery at Davidstow in north Cornwall.