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Biomass Boiler Case Studies and FIT’s

Some interesting case studies on how biomass boilers have helped save money. Also information on FIT's - Feed in Tariff

 The Feed inTariff (FIT) became available on the 1st April 2010 and had generally replaced all previousgrant schemes (figures below taken from Renewable Heat Incentive Website)


A biomass boiler rated at 250 kWth operates for 7 hours/day in winter and 3 hours/day in summer, i.e. 1,825 hours in total over the year.

This size of boiler is classified as 'Medium Biomass'.

It therefore receives the Tier 1 tariff of 4.7p per kWh for the first 1,314 hoursand the Tier 2 tariff of 1.9p per kWh for the other 511 hours

  • 1314 x 250 x £0.047 = £15,439.50
  • + 511 x 250 x £0.019 = £ 2,427.25

Making a total of £17,866.75 per annum (plusinflationadjustment)

Biomass Boiler Case Studies.

Case 1 - Luxury Lake District Hotel & Spa


Langdale Luxury Lake District Hotel & Spa, Timeshare and Self Catering Holiday accommodation.

Current Fuel- LPG
New boiler & Fuel- one 250kw wood chip biomass fuelled boiler
Fuel cost savings- anticipated to bring annual fuel cost savings, at current price levels, of between £35,000 and £40,000.
New fuel cost- paying around 2p per kwh (2009)
Project cost and payback- £150k; pay back is anticipated to be around 4 years;two of the 4 LPG boilers were retained for peak demand backup

Case 2 - Modern offices and sheltered housing complex

TWO-State of the art biomass system heating modern offices and sheltered housing complex; The three buildings have a total floor area of 6,608m2 and demand about 1,250MWhrs annually to provide heating and hot water.Biomass Boiler Case Study 2 large

Current Fuel - A combination of oil and electric boiler systems.
New boiler & Fuel- 550kW boiler with 300mm diameter auger system which automatically feeds fuel to the boiler in response to heat demand.
Fuel store - 150m3 concrete bunker integrated into boiler house, fuel grade G50 'medium' chip
Fuel cost savings - £24,800 per annum (2006 Q1 prices)
New fuel cost - £23,000 (2006)

Case3 - A castle hotel

Biomass Boiler Case Study 3A castle hotel with wood-fuel at its heart, 30-bedroom luxury hotel.

Current Fuel - Oil
New boiler & Fuel - 300kWwood chipboiler 12,000 litre buffer storage tanks to give a maximum output of 550kW
Fuel cost savings - The hotel slashed its oil bill by almost half
Project cost and payback - The total cost including boiler, tanks, underground pipe work and all plumbing was almost £200,000.
Notes - The hotel slashed its oil bill by almost half and is now using green energy from alocal source. CO2 emissions were cut by about 500 tonnes a year. The boiler can work at up to 30% moisture content. The chip wood logs are stacked to air dry and then brought into the yard to be chipped into the shed.

Case 4 - Primary School

Biomass Boiler Case Study 4A Primary School in Bristol, commissioned 2011.

Current Fuel - Oil Pre-installation fuel costs £33,754
New boiler & Fuel - a 300kW wood chip boiler with 600kW gas backup boiler
Fuel cost savings - reducing the site’s annual energy costs by the equivalent of a teaching assistant salaried post,
New fuel cost - 2 pence per kWh, Post-installation fuel costs £10,717
Project cost and payback - Renewable Heat Incentive will be £19,411 per year, plus carbon reduction commitment (CRC) savings of £2,192, plus  Fuel cost savings £23,037 total savings per annum are £44,640
Notes - savings of around 182 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Case 5 - Leisure centre

Biomass Boiler Case Study 5Leisure Centre, Fort William, commissioned 2011

Current Fuel - Oil
New boiler & Fuel - A 400kW wood pellet biomass boiler at a seasonal efficiency of at least 89% and 9,000 litre thermal store, using wood pellets as the biomass fuel.The carbon trust Biomass Boiler Decision Support Tool (availableHERE) calculated the peak load as 730kW, the Tool indicated that a biomass boiler rated at 400kW in combination with a 9,000 litre thermal store would be able to supply up to 99% of the annual energy.
Fuel cost savings - annual fuel cost saving of £56,790 plus the RHI income of £38210 giving a total annual cost saving of £95,000
New fuel cost - The calculated annual heat energy demand of the Centre is 1.19GWh, with the biomass plant generating at least 97% of this or 1.15GWh. Prior to the refurbishment, the Centre consumed £99,860 of fuel oil (at current prices November 2011) whereas the calculated annual fuel cost from wood pellets and oil in the first year is £43,070 giving an annual saving of £56,790.
Project cost and payback - approx £205,550 giving a payback of a little over 2 years.

Case 6 - High School in the Highlands

Biomass Boiler Case Study 6Plockton High School, Highlands

Current Fuel - Oil
New boiler & Fuel - 400kW wood pellet biomass boiler and 30,000 litres of thermal storage.The system feeds the High School buildings and the school hostel which also houses The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music, via district heating pipework. Fuel and heating supply security are critical issues and, due to the remoteness of the school and hostel, permanent back-up is provided by theoriginal400kW oil boiler. Extensive fabric upgrades to both of the school buildings had previously resultedin a reduction in the winter design day peak load from 860kW to 590kW. The very large thermal store allows the biomass boiler to fire for long periods storing excess heat when the heat demand is less than the boiler’s peak output.
Fuel cost savings - Prior to the biomass boiler installation, the school & hostel consumed £67,033 of fuel oil (at current prices Dec 2011) whereas the calculated annual fuel cost from wood pellets in the first year is £33,809 giving an annual saving of £33,224. At a net seasonal efficiency of 88% the cost of heat from the boiler is 3.91 pence per kWh. RHI income, £30,840
Project cost and payback- £541,000 (includes £123K construction of a new boiler house, £30K large thermal storage, £88K district heating network), 8.44 years payback

Case 7 - Residential Georgian manor house

Biomass Boiler Case Study 7Residential, Georgian Manor Housealso including two flats, a refurbished coach house, stables and an estate office.The house and grounds are regularly used for private parties, events, weddings, film locations and photo shoots. Guest comfort at the venue is paramount which necessitates a reliable, high and consistent supply of heat.

Current Fuel - Oil
New boiler & Fuel - Two 99KW wood chip biomass boilers supplying heating and hot water to several buildings using a small district heating scheme, complete with 3000 litre buffer tank.
Fuel cost savings - Biomass Fuel Cost Saving; 50-80% (wood chips). Previous oil cost approx £12,000 per annum giving a biomass fulel saving of £6,600 per annum
New fuel cost - £5400 per annum, RHI income at an average of £22,600 every year for20 years, index linked to inflation.
Project cost and payback - £95,000, 3-4 years (combining RHI income & fuel cost saving).

Notes - CO2 Reduced by 88 tonnes per annum.

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