Fife town ready for potential new £20m district heating scheme

Bill Dewar Fife Council lead professional, Re Alan Kimmtt, Barbara Whiting Fife Council lead professional and Martha MacLachlan energy promotion and development officer.
Bill Dewar Fife Council lead professional, Re Alan Kimmtt, Barbara Whiting Fife Council lead professional and Martha MacLachlan energy promotion and development officer.
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A major new multi-million pound district heating project, bringing affordable low carbon heat to homes and businesses in Glenrothes, could be a reality by the end of the decade.

A planning application has already been submitted by Fife Council for the construction of ‘Glenrothes Heat’, a heat distribution network utilising the output from the RWE-run biomass plant at Markinch.

And the public are being given the chance to see and comment on the ambitious project at a consultation event later this month.

The proposed heating scheme is designed to heat businesses, public facilities and offices and up to 372 homes in the town centre catchment area once fully operational.

As well as supporting business growth and reducing fuel poverty, the scheme will contribute to Scotland’s long term climate change targets and move to low carbon energy sources.

And with the support of the Scottish Government and applications for substantial funding currently being processed, the aim is to commission the project by September 2018 and make the first connections as early as January 2019.

Around £8.5m is expected to be secured from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Programme Fund, while £7m has also been committed by RWE Markinch Ltd who are partnering Fife Council on the project.

Once operational, Glenrothes Heat will mean a 10 per cent reduction in existing heating costs, and reduce environmental taxes for businesses and other public sector users.

The project will also help guarantee the future of the RWE’s CHP Biomass plant at Markinch, which has been looking to fulfill it’s supply potential since the demise of Tullis Russell paper plant in 2015.

Currently undergoing a 12-week consultation period, residents and business owners are being called upon to give their views and learn more about the scheme at a special public event being held at Auchmuty Learning Centre, Alexander Road, Glenrothes on Thursday, April 27 from 9.30am - 7pm.