The University of St Andrews’ strategic aim to become the UK’s first carbon neutral university for energy usage took a major step forward on December 6 when the biomass plant at the Eden Campus at Guardbridge was officially commissioned.
The £25 million plant on the east side of the former paper mill site produces hot water from a biomass boiler using clean, natural fuels from sustainable sources across Scotland, which is pumped four miles underground to St Andrews where it heats University buildings.
Last week the energy centre won a major national award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2016 defeating strong competition from across Scotland to take the prestigious Sustainable Development Award.
The project is funded by an £11 million loan from the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) Fund, a joint Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund initiative, managed by Amber Infrastructure Limited and a £10 million grant from the Scottish Funding Council, with the remaining £4 million coming from the University.
At a short commissioning ceremony at Guardbridge, University Principal Professor Sally Mapstone officially lit the biomass boiler.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Guardbridge community and children from Guardbridge Primary School.