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University of St Andrews plans for new energy centre

January 2nd, 2014

The University of St Andrews in Fife has revealed new intentions to build a brand new ‘green’ centre in order to slash the establishment’s yearly energy bills.

At a cost of £25 million, the scheme would be a long-term solution to the problems associated with rising energy bills. The money saved on paying high premiums for gas and electricity costs could be put back into investment in teaching a research.

The University said a £10 million grant has been offered by the Scottish Funding Council to bring the plans to reality. Work would see a new a biomass facility constructed in the Guardbridge area, with hot water pumps running for four miles to the campus to provide heating and cooling for labs and residences.

In addition to providing the University with clean, cheap energy, the construction work will see a number of new jobs created for people in the local area.

It is not the first energy efficiency scheme to be given approval in the region in recent times, as a wind-power development of six turbines is also set for Kenly – east of St Andreas.

Not only will the new power centre provide energy for the teachers and students at the prestigious university, it will also encourage research and help to make discoveries made in university classrooms a reality.

Furthermore, local businesses will be able to use the centre for their accommodation needs, and will prove especially useful for businesses in the renewables sector.

Derek Watson, university quaestor and factor, said it has taken longer than expected to make the plans for an energy centre clear, but praised the encouragement the local community has provided during that time.

“Guardbridge represents a major strategic step for the University. We are committed to becoming carbon neutral 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,” he said.

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