£8.5m Government backing set to make district heating scheme a reality for Fife town

RWE's Biomass plant would generate heat for businesses and homes in the town centre area.
RWE's Biomass plant would generate heat for businesses and homes in the town centre area.

An ambitious £17 million district heating project for one of Fife’s biggest towns has took a step closer to becoming a reality with confirmation that the Scottish Government will be committing £8.5 million to the scheme.

‘Glenrothes Heat’, is a heat distribution network utilising the output from the RWE-run biomass plant at Markinch which will bring affordable low carbon heat to homes and businesses within the town centre area.

Now First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, speaking at the All Energy Conference in Glasgow earlier today, (Wednesday) has confirmed the Glenrothes project, one of 13 across Scotland to benefit from £43m investment in, low-carbon infrastructure, will benefit from substantial government funding.

“These projects have great potential to help us tackle climate change, and remain at the forefront of low carbon and renewable innovation. They will also bring economic benefits – in terms of savings and jobs – to local areas across the country,” she the First Minister.

Robin Presswood, Fife Council’s head of Economy, Planning and Employability welcomed the funding.

He said: “Glenrothes Heat could contribute significantly to our ambitious climate change targets and could potentially reduce fuel poverty in Glenrothes households and provide cost savings for businesses.”

With £7m also committed by RWE Markinch Ltd who are partnering Fife Council on the project, a planning application is expected to come before planners later this year with aim to commission the project by September 2018 and make the first connections to businesses and homes as early as January 2019.

RWE’s head of Biomass for RWE Markinch, Ian Calvert, also welcomed the announcement, adding: “Today’s announcement by the Scottish Government to award funding to Glenrothes District Heat scheme is a fantastic boost for the project.

“This scheme offers the opportunity to provide affordable heat to local businesses and homes and lowering carbon emissions through the use of hot water at the nearby Markinch power plant.

“We are proud to be part of this project and will work towards submitting planning permission for the Energy Centre in the coming months.”