The new cabinet secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP, has visited Glenrothes Energy Network.
The minister took time out of his busy schedule to tour the work site in Fife House car park and meet the team involved with the project.
Mr Matheson said: “District heating plays an important role in the transition to an affordable, low carbon heat system for Scotland. Glenrothes Energy Network demonstrates a strong partnership approach in delivering this and it was great to see first-hand how this district heating scheme will help tackle fuel poverty locally.
“Last year, we published Scotland’s first ever Energy Strategy which sets us firmly on course for an inclusive, innovative and low carbon energy future. The strategy sets out a vision for the future of energy across the country and will guide Scottish Government decisions over the coming decades.
“It highlights connections between the energy system and all parts of the economy, and its importance to sustainable, inclusive growth. We will continue to work with businesses in Scotland, helping them use their experience, adaptability and willingness to diversify in order to become more competitive.”
Glenrothes Energy Network is a £24 million collaborative local heat scheme between the Scottish Government, RWE and Fife Council. It will provide sustainable low carbon heat to a mix of industrial, commercial, community and domestic properties in Glenrothes as well as the Fife House complex. There will be an opportunity to expand the network to supply further homes across Glenrothes.
RWE will own the Energy Centre and provide the heat required for the network from its biomass plant; Fife Council will own the network and act as service provider and the Scottish Government is supporting the development through its Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (match funded by the European Regional Development Fund). The project will be operational by the end of January 2019.
Steve Hicks, RWE project director, said: “We are proud to be part of this project and supply local businesses and homes with low carbon heat. Our contractors are developing the Energy Centre adjacent to Markinch CHP biomass plant and construction is well underway.”
Cllr Ross Vettraino, Fife Council’s spokesperson for the environment, said: “Today was a great opportunity to meet Mr Matheson and share with him the innovative work happening in Fife through partnership working. “Bringing a district heating scheme to Glenrothes will help us reach our goal of reducing carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.”
“This is a major investment of nearly £24 million for Glenrothes town centre. It will not only provide clean sustainable energy but will help to secure jobs and reduce fuel poverty in Glenrothes.”
Work is progressing well at a number of sites in the centre of Glenrothes including the energy centre, where the steel frame has now gone up.