Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland Lord Dunlop today (Tuesday August 18) visited the £25 million green energy centre under construction at Guardbridge.
A state-of-the-art biomass facility, using only wood from sustainable local sources, will be built on the site of a former paper mill at Guardbridge and will pump hot water from the plant four miles underground to heat and cool laboratories and student residences in St Andrews.
The green energy centre which is being delivered by St Andrews University will help to regenerate north east Fife by creating more than 225 jobs in the construction phase.
The University has developed the Guardbridge Guarantee as part of the project. This ensures that the project supports apprenticeship and graduate training, creating and sustaining jobs while working with the local community to promote environment and energy projects and local business.
During his visit Lord Dunlop met senior representatives from the University and contractors.
Lord Dunlop said: “This project creates a virtuous circle. It provides jobs and apprenticeships, helping to re-generate north east Fife.
“It will deliver the hot water needed for the University in a green and efficient way and it puts one of Scotland’s oldest universities at the cutting edge of new, sustainable and environmentally friendly technology.”
The green energy centre is a key part of the University’s drive to become the UK’s first carbon-neutral university for energy.
University of St Andrews Chief Operating Officer, Derek Watson, said: “Guardbridge represents a major strategic step for the University. We are committed to becoming carbon neutral for energy and this large industrial site lends itself to the creation of a range of renewable energies which are vital to our efforts to remain one of Europe’s leading research institutions.
“With the biomass at its heart, we believe the diverse range of potential uses at Guardbridge has the capacity to re-establish this huge site as a key economic centre in Fife.”
The green energy centre project is funded with a £10 million grant from the Scottish Funding Council, an £11 million loan from the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) Fund and £4 million coming from the University itself.
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