Jonathan Watson reports in The Courier that a £32m biomass-fueled cogeneration project aimed at bringing green energy to a Fife community has had a major funding boost. Ore Valley Housing Association has been awarded more than £3.7 million by the European Union to help develop a heating network to be shared by homeowners and businesses in Cardenden, Fife, Scotland. The Cardenden Heat and Power project was given the funds by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Scottish Government’s District Heating Action Plan, launched to help reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.
Andrew Saunders, chief executive of the non-profit Ore Valley Housing Association, said: “This is great news for the Cardenden Heat and Power initiative. Although this is not the end of the road, it is a very significant step towards financial close and delivery of the project.”
It is anticipated that about 1,200 homes will be connected in the first phase of the project, primarily from social housing properties of the Ore Valley Housing Association and Fife Council, as well as private landlords and homeowners.
Energy users will receive heat through a network of underground heat pipes, created through the burning of wood. As well as heat, the project will also be able to generate power, which can be sold to the national grid.
The Carbon Trust believes around 22,220 tonnes of carbon would be saved every year, which, given the energy needs and size of the town, would effectively make Cardenden, a town with approximately 3,000 population, a carbon-neutral community.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “I am delighted to announce Ore Valley Housing Association’s £32 million renewable district heating scheme has been awarded £3,734,674 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund. It aims to address the issues of carbon reduction, affordable energy and economic development through the provision of a local energy network serving energy users in Cardenden.
“The money invested will have a beneficial long-term effect on driving down fuel poverty — a concern for too many households in an energy-rich nation like Scotland.”