Walford and North Shropshire College set to purchase new Vermeer by dfhrf555fcg


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									Some news snippets from woodfuel feature in FTN June 06.

Walford and North Shropshire College intend to use the new Vermeer BC150XL brush chipper
to produce woodchip to fuel a new „eco-friendly‟ boiler system and to deliver training in the safe
use of chippers.

Chip produced by the machine will be used to heat the new state of the art small animal care
and horticultural centre at the college‟s Walford campus. Wind, solar and geothermal energy will
also be harnessed in an attempt to make the centre energy-neutral.

The main boiler will be fed with biomass comprising used animal bedding and wood from the
college‟s estate.

Staff stressed that they were looking for a machine that would be easy to maintain so that the
students could carry out simple maintenance work themselves. The fibreglass hood on the
machine provides easy access to all the engine components, including the drive belt pulleys.
Once under the bonnet, belt changes can be accomplished without the use of tools.

The BC150 can handle material up to 15cm. The SmartFeed control system monitors engine
speed and automatically stops or reverses the feed rollers to prevent overloading the engine.
This means easier more consistent feeding speed, reduced engine stress, fewer jams and
higher efficiency.

The Vermeer environmental range is available from sole UK and Ireland distributor, B-Trac
Equipment Ltd. The line-up includes brush chippers, stump grinders, horizontal grinders and a
selection of compact equipment. B-Trac, tel: 01933 274400.


Balcas, a family-owned, Northern Ireland timber company is planning the UK's largest bio-
renewable energy plant, in the north of Scotland. Balcas is applying for planning permission to
build a £20m combined heat and power plant, producing 100,000 tonnes of wood pellets from
bark, sawdust and woodchips.


The Carbon Trust launched a £5m project to accelerate the commercial development of biomass
heat in the UK. The five-year biomass heat accelerator project is the first of its kind and will
focus on making small-scale biomass self-sustainable by reducing costs, supply-chain risks and
raising awareness.

The project will examine and address the key barriers to the take up of biomass in the UK, which
include high costs, immature supply chain infrastructure and a lack of awareness of the benefits
of biomass in the marketplace. Using the findings of the project, the Carbon Trust hopes to
identify potential cost reductions to make the technology more financially attractive, as well as
developing best practice supply-chain models that will help remove real and perceived risks.
As part of the initiative, the Carbon Trust will partner with new and existing biomass sites and
their supply-chains to develop case studies.

The Carbon Trust is funded by Defra, the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government
and Invest NI. The Carbon Trust also promotes the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme
for energy saving investments on behalf of Defra and manages the associated Energy
Technology List. This ECA scheme is a tax relief that enables businesses to claim 100% first-
year capital allowances on investments in energy-saving equipment listed on the approved
Energy Technology List.
Tel: 020 7544 3100 www.thecarbontrust.co.uk


The Big Lottery Fund‟s £50m gross renewable energy programme was launched in 2002 as part
of its Transforming Communities Initiative. The programme is jointly delivered and funded by the
Department of Trade and Industry with input from Defra.

So far, £10m has gone to the offshore wind sector, £29.9m to biomass-fuelled electricity
generation and £3.2 million to small-scale biomass fuelled heat installations.

As a result of an under-spend, the Fund launched in April a new round for applications focusing
on providing support to small-scale biomass heat and combined heat and power projects, in line
with the recommendations of the Biomass Task Force report (November 2005). The deadline is
31 July 2006; grants will be offered in September 2006.


Twenty-five hectares of short rotation coppice (SRC) willow has been planted on Strawson‟s
Knightwood Trust Farms in Cottam, north Nottinghamshire, in fields directly adjacent to EDF
Energy‟s Cottam Power station. In three years time, the willow will be harvested into a carbon-
neutral woodchip and supplied as Koolfuel to the nearby power station to generate „greener‟

EDF Energy‟s Cottam and nearby West Burton coal-fired power stations have a combined
capacity of 4000MW capable of providing the annual power needs of around 5.5m homes. The
company commercially co-fires biomass fuels, such as willow.

The willow has been planted by Renewable Fuels Ltd, biomass specialists with over 20 years
experience in willow breeding and management, using high-yielding, specially selected willow

Andy Oldridge of Renewable Fuels Ltd says, “The key to a well established willow plantation is
in the quality of land preparation and the cuttings chosen for each site. We take great care to
select a mixture of high yielding willow clones that will thrive and produce a good fuel supply for
the future”.

Renewable Fuels Ltd can offer full project management for growers of SRC and works with
growers throughout the process from land-suitability, grant application and land preparation to
planting, management and harvesting. The company offers long-term contracts with growers
and supplies the harvested material to a variety of biomass end-users.

The 25 hectares is adding to the already impressive 230 hectares of willow that Strawson has
established over the last six years. This is the largest willow plantation in the country, managed
by farm manager Colin Garfoot.
Willow can be planted on set-aside and arable land and farmers qualify for their SFP, or Single
Payment Scheme, as normal. Re-growth occurs naturally and the willow plantation can remain
viable for more than 20 years.

Renewable Fuels Ltd uses a twin row step planter. The willow rods are inserted at 59 cm
intervals leaving enough room between the rows for a Class Forager to harvest the fully mature
crop in three years time, when it can reach as tall as 7metres.

During 2005, both Koolfuel and Renewable Fuels Ltd independently carried out thorough trials of
co-firing SRC at major UK coal-fired power stations where the willow woodchip was milled and
granulated to produce a suitable dust-like material. “These trials were extremely successful and
helped to identify the right specification”, they claim.

Managing director of Koolfuel, John Strawson, says, “Willow SRC is now a well established
enterprise on our farms. The marketplace is now secure, inspired by delivering a quality fuel
product to end-users. Koolfuel is a high quality fuel, renewable, environmentally beneficial and
half the price of oil. We are very pleased to have built up a strong trading relationship with EDF
Energy, contracts are in place and we have supplied over 4000 tonnes of Koolfuel in the last 12
John Strawson, Koolfuel, tel 01777 248749 www.koolfuel.co.uk
Renewable Fuels Ltd. Tel 01904 720817 or 07814 035405 www.renewablefuels.co.uk

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