Fife Council

The Glenrothes Energy Network

Executive Summary

The Glenrothes Energy Network was an exciting opportunity to take excess heat from the nearby RWE biomass plant and convert it into usable low temperature hot water which is transported to customers through a buried district heating network.

  • stats-numerical
    £12.9m contract value
  • pipework
    6.2km of district heating network
  • heat
    4MW heat off take
  • percentage-increase
    15% heat loss reduction through specifying higher standard of insulation

Project Overview

The Glenrothes Energy Network is an exciting public private partnership between Scottish Government,  Fife Council and RWE which utilises steam generated as a by-product of electrical generation at the Markinch Biomass CHP Plant to deliver low-carbon heat to houses, businesses and public sector buildings within the Glenrothes town centre.  The project makes a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions in Scotland and received funding from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Project (LCITP).

Vital Energi won the contract to deliver the detailed design, and construction of the energy centre and district heating network, creating an ambitious and challenging delivery programme which would see the “Heat On” date achieved in advance of the funding deadline.

This project saw us work with the clients’ professional team to design, supply and deliver the energy centre, 6.2km district heating network and High Voltage ducts with cabling to be installed during future phases.  The solution needed to fully integrate with the 55MWe biomass CHP plant and connect a range of buildings which included businesses and blocks of housing in the town centre.

Our Solution

Glenrothes Biomass 048

It was clear from initial conversations that the Council prioritised an approach of keeping disruption to a minimum.  Through careful traffic management plans this can be minimised.  We worked with one of our long-standing traffic management specialists and the council and were able to create a plan which gave confidence to all stakeholders that much of the potential disruption could be mitigated.  We explored all opportunities for the highways affected and options included road closures and diversions, temporary traffic regulation methods such as traffic lights and give way systems. To ensure this plan was carried out effectively our traffic management partners were on call when required and attended site on all days where temporary traffic management measures were being implemented. (During peak hours of 7am-9pm and 3pm-6pm.)

One of the stipulations of Planning was that we would not be able to close a busy roundabout leading to a popular local supermarket and we were able to plan alternative routes to ensure that this road stayed open throughout the project.

A big contribution to meeting the extremely tight programme came from our Pre-fabrication Department in Blackburn which was able to create all building connection skids.  Additionally, connecting pipework was prefabricated where possible to minimise hot works in occupied council buildings.

Solution detail

Vital deserve a lot of credit for working to a tight schedule. The network flew in at the end and it was a slick operation. One of the biggest successes was the traffic management. Areas were well controlled and managed and the site compound was well kept. This was highlighted by how little negative feedback there was from the public. It was a very challenging programme of work, but Vital Energi reacted quickly and effectively to any on site challenges and maintained a positive attitude throughout.

Jonathan Coppock, Fife Council

Key Benefits

The Glenrothes Energy Network

Download Case Study The Glenrothes Energy Network Case Study 0.47 Mb
Related case study

Queens Quay Design

Queens Quay