A Co-Operative Food store in Fort William has shown that biomass for retail can be a major boost to the bottom line. The shop in Caol, Lochaber is the first of the retail group to switch to biomass heating in a pilot study to test the benefits. The initiative is projected to save the store nearly £10,000 a year and save 90 tonnes annually in carbon emissions and has already outstripped expectations.
Recognised for their commitment to ecologically sustainable and socially responsible good practice, the Co-Op opted for the biomass system as part of a £540,000 refit of their Kilmallie Road store in Caol in a bid to reduce carbon emissions and save on operating costs. The system replaces ineffective electric heating with new fan coil heaters heated by a 130kW biomass boiler located in a purpose built building.
The boiler runs on wood chip supplied from local forestry. hwenergy provides ongoing, fuel, service and maintenance in a comprehensive heat supply contract which guarantees fixed pricing backed by performance guarantees.
The existing overhead electric fan heaters were inefficient and costly and with an extensive refurbishment of the store it made sense to review the heating and hot water provision at the same time. hwenergy commissioned a bespoke boiler house and fuel store to house the 130kW biomass boiler required and sited this at the back of the store. Painted white to match the main building and allowing access from the rear of the shop for fuel deliveries, this resulted in minimise visual impact.
An ultra sonic heat meter was installed to monitor heat production from the wood boiler, compliant with the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI) as well as a remote monitoing facility to gather data on heat production.
hwenergy support the installation on a full Heat Supply basis, providing all fuel and servicing of the system and bill the client on the basis of kWh of heat used.
All fuel is sourced locally and provided by hwenergy wood fuels.
"It’s the first time we’ve installed a biomass system into one of our stores, and if this pilot works well then we will consider introducing them elsewhere.
As a community retailer this sort of system is ideal for us. Not only is it environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective, but working with a Fort William-based supplier, hwenergy, means were also able to boost the local economy as well."
Martin Lowe, Regional Energy Manager for The Co-operative Food