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Garioch District Heat plans to introduce renewable, affordable heating to Inverurie

By David Porter

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As the energy crisis worsens, the need for a cost-effective, green solution is set to be discussed at a special event being held in Inverurie for local residents.

Plans are in place to use gifted, residual commercial heat from the Agile Energy plant near Port Elphinstone to provide hot water and heating to local homes and businesses in the area.

Hot water produced from the new plant at Port Elphinstone could be used to heat local homes.
Hot water produced from the new plant at Port Elphinstone could be used to heat local homes.

Locals are being invited to join Garioch District Heat (GDH) at their launch event at Inverurie Town Hall on Saturday, May 7 at 1.30pm.

GDH, a not-for-profit organisation for community benefit, seek to inform residents and businesses of their local solution to the energy crisis.

At the launch further information will be provided information on GDH’s plans to sustainably deliver low-carbon heat from a local source with a proposed three year turnaround for the scheme.

Chair of GDH George Niblock commented: "Doing so can cause less emissions, improve air quality and, most importantly, mean heat is provided at affordable rates for the Garioch.

"District heating is a top priority for the Scottish Government and is a tried and tested way of delivering clean, safe and affordable heat.

District Heating has been common around Northern Europe for decades and around 14,000 schemes are in operation around the UK, with over 30,000 homes in Scotland connected to heat networks.

Locally, there are five in Aberdeen and one in Methlick with reports indicating significant financial benefits within the community as a result of the networks.

The proposed network for Garioch would take residual waste heat from non-recyclable waste already created within the community, to provide clean, safe, affordable low-carbon heat to the community.

He continued: "District Heating aims to save individuals money whilst reducing their carbon footprint, with this project seeking to act as a catalyst for further community solutions to address other issues such as fuel poverty and energy efficiency in homes.

"Decarbonising heat in this way has the added benefit of creating local employment in construction, operation, administration and maintenance of the network and ancillary projects.

"Further investigation will also take place into the concept of heat batteries which can provide a creative solution to providing heat to off-gas grid communities and even single homes in rural areas.

"At a time where 80 per cent of energy bills are for heating and hot water, GDH are seeking extensive community engagement and feedback on their plans to retain the near £20 million per annum which is lost from the local community."

Visit www.gariochdistrictheat.net to book a place through Eventbrite

The new £200 million energy-from-waste incinerator facility on the former Inverurie Paper Mill site at Kirkwood Commercial Park was given the green light by Aberdeenshire Council in June 2021.

The facility will be made up of 27 buildings and also features components and elements of plant and machinery, including a receiving and shredding area, furnace, waste processing area and fuel silos.

Agile director Alf Robertson said: “This will be a world class site and Aberdeenshire will be seen as a world leader in this method of waste conversion.

“Building the plant itself will create around 300 construction jobs and in turn create a further 45 for its operation.

“It is a requirement to use the heat produced to supply a network if feasible – that is our intention.

“We have an electricity agreement in place with the grid and SSE, and an application is coming for connection via underground cable to the sub-station at Kintore.

"This is part of our vision to develop Thainstone Energy Park, as a world-leading, low carbon energy development.”

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