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Council leading the way on biomass technology

Bedford Borough Council has secured a pioneering deal which will see many Council buildings, including schools, reducing their impact on the environment by using electricity generated by biomass.


Working in partnership with business electricity supplier Haven Power, the Council has secured this ground breaking deal which will dramatically reduce the Council’s effect on the environment as well as securing energy at an excellent cost for local taxpayers.


Biomass is the world’s fourth largest energy source and is renewable and can be used in a sustainable system, meaning its effect on the environment is much lower than burning fossil fuels. Put simply, biomass is a form of stored solar energy. It is organic, plant-based material such as wood chips or pelletized straw and has been used as an energy source for many years to produce heat.


In addition to securing energy from 100% renewable sources, the Council is also leading work across Bedford Borough to identify further opportunities for the local use of biomass technology. A conference recently held at the Marston Vale Forest Centre aimed to find new ways for local biomass material to be utilised and developed for biomass boilers, encouraging schools and other building owners to consider biomass as an opportunity to reduce energy costs and reduce CO2.


Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “With the rising cost of energy prices it is absolutely vital that we continue to proactively pursue cheaper sources of electricity across the borough.


“Opting for energy which is generated from biomass will significantly reduce our impact on the environment as well as providing reliable energy for years to come.


“We are also working with schools and other groups in Bedford Borough to assist them in finding their own alternatives to using costly and damaging fossil fuels.


“By choosing to purchase biomass energy, in addition to our ground breaking project to install a hydro-power scheme on the River Great Ouse we are forging ahead to protect local taxpayers’ money as well as ensuring the borough remains at the forefront of renewable energy developments.”


Peter Bennell, Chief Executive at Haven Power, added: “Quite a number of our customers are facing increasing pressure to be more environmentally responsible. As part of Drax Power, we have the ability to supply our customers with biomass-generated energy at no cost to power generated from traditional fuel sources.


“Taking the option of power from a 100 percent renewable source, means our customers benefit from their supply being exempt from Climate Change Levy. It is a very simple but effective way for Bedford Borough Council to commit to being more sustainable and deliver carbon footprint saving without incurring extra costs”


The following sites are receiving energy produced from biomass.

•           Borough Hall
•           Town Hall
•           Bedford Central Library
•           Oasis Beach Pool
•           Bedford International Athletic Stadium
•           Bedford i-lab
•           Bedford Corn Exchange – Harpur Suite
•           Bunyan Sports Centre
•           Biddenham International School & Sports College
•           Bedford Academy
•           Wootton Upper School & Arts College
•           Sharnbrook Upper School & Community College
•           St Thomas More Catholic Upper School
•           Mark Rutherford Upper School & Community College
•           Hastingsbury Business & Enterprise College
•           Grange School

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