For more than twenty years, the Regional Energy Agency of Castilla y León, EREN, has been investing in renewable energy projects, both to demonstrate their technological or economic feasibility, and to acquire business and technical knowledge of the sector “from within”.
These projects include many different types, like large wind farms or biomass power plants, medium-sized hydroelectric plants, solar installations in hospitals or small PV installations in administrative buildings.
Among these projects, we want to highlight the biomass district heating system created in Ávila to supply two High Schools, Jorge Santayana and Alonso Madrigal, and the Arts and Cultural Property Conservation and Restoration Superior School.
This installation was finally configured with two well differentiated parts. On one hand, adjacent to Alonso Madrigal High School, a 1.8 MW thermal power plant with two 800 and 1,000 kW boilers that consumes 90 tonnes of wood chips per year, two water tanks of 10,000 L each, 30 tonnes of silo for a minimum autonomy of 20 days, control systems and a series of pumps, valves and pipes.
On the other hand, the network of pre-insulated hot water pipes with two branches of 475 m each, together with the necessary heat exchangers to transfer the heat to the buildings, leaving the existing boilers operational for safety.
The installation was finished in May 2021 with an investment above €700,000, while 50% was financed by the ERDF Operational program 2014 – 20. Regarding environmental impact, the project is expected to save slightly more than 650 tonnes CO2 per year.
The project initiative arises from a December 2018 Agreement between the General Administration of the Region and EREN.
This installation is part of the Castilla y León Regional Government current effort in the development of thermal networks, much more efficient than individual systems, supplied by biomass, a fully renewable fuel.
Other good examples are the biomass heating networks for the University of Valladolid, for different Regional Government buildings, and for the Regional Presidency headquarters complex.
This best practice is issued from our publication Sustainable Regions in Action 2022. Read it now to discover many more best practices from FEDARENE members as well as an overview of our activities.