Community heating projects in Scotland have been awarded a loans boost of £1.9 million, which will aid the installation of nine small community biomass heating systems.
The loans, all of which were capped at £400,000, will see West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative in Glasgow replace electric storage heating in two tower blocks with a wood-fuelled heating system.
Other projects to benefit include the West Highland Housing Association biomass project who, thanks to a loan of £280,000, will now be able to provide heating for 60 properties and a local school. The Mull and Iona Progressive Care Centre in Argyll and Bute have also been awarded £200,000 for infrastructure costs.
The schemes – part of a pilot project open to small businesses, councils and housing associations – will heat about 280 homes and are expected to save more than 68,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 25 years and provide heat to around 280 homes in the area.
“We have a target of 11 per cent of heat demand coming from renewables by 2020 and district heating schemes will help Scotland achieve that target,” said energy minister, Fergus Ewing.
He added that many schemes fall by the wayside because of high start-up costs and unavailable finance.
“By offering these loans, we are helping communities to help themselves, developing affordable, green and locally-produced heat,” said Mr Ewing.