Prep school swaps fossil fuels for wood pellets

A Warwickshire preparatory school has taken 'a huge step towards zero-carbon' by swapping its old oil-boilers for biomass systems.


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The switch will save 20,000kg of CO2 a year for the Croft School in Stratford-upon-Avon. “This is a marvellous addition,” said the school’s director of project development Barney Thornton.

“It has given us the chance to massively reduce the amount of fossil fuels we use. As a forward-thinking school it’s important for us to set a positive example to pupils about the benefits of using sustainable energy and it’s great that we can do this without huge financial risk.”

An ESCO (Energy Services Company) agreement with provider Forest Fuels means that the operation and maintenance of the system is fully taken care of, with the school simply purchasing fuel as required.

In an ESCO agreement, the provider’s compensation and often the project finance is directly linked to the amount of energy saved or generated.

The Croft School’s biomass boiler will generate 700,000KWh of heat every year, burning locally-sourced wood pellets.

Biomass backing

Forest Fuels said the Biomass ESCO system was a great option for any school looking to update its heating system.

Biomass boilers account for 90% of payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the government’s flagship scheme to encourage a shift to low carbon heating.

There is growing number of small businesses and organisation adopting renewable heat in recent months.St Andrews university recently invested £25m in a biomass plant and heat distribution network to warm its labs and residences, while two golf clubs in Somerset also installed 220KW of biomass boiler systems. 

Brad Allen

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