Penrith Rugby Club Commissions Biomass Boiler

8th Apr 2015

Penrith Rugby Club has installed and commissioned a 199kw Biomass Boiler, as part of its ongoing commitment to embrace renewable energy initiatives. The supply contractor is Atkinson Renewable Energy, part of Atkinson Building Contractors Ltd.

With specialist assistance from Stobart Energy and finance support from the club’s parent body, the RFU, the Club is embarking on a 20-year project to switch from the fossil fuel to renewable and sustainable wood pellet fuel, in order to drastically reduce its carbon footprint.

The Club has looked at numerous renewable schemes over the last four years, including wind turbines, Solar PV, ground/air source heating, but the prospect of supplying all heating requirements for both the rugby clubhouse and squash courts with an alternative sustainable fuel source, proved very attractive.

Detailed feasibility studies were entered into and five different suppliers were asked to quote. In the end, Atkinson’s overall professional package, competitive pricing and long term relationship convinced the Club’s Board of Directors that the order should be placed with them.

The government’s renewable subsidies are being progressively reviewed and reduced so there was a deadline of 31st March in order to get the boiler installed, commissioned and registered with OFGEM.

With financing from the RFU, the project will create positive cash flows from day one, allowing the Club to re-invest into community rugby with its 12 Youth teams and three senior teams. This comes on the back of a £25,000 scheme to renovate all three pitches and a Sport England £60,000 funded programme for the installation of floodlights for the second and third team pitches.

Chris Lilley, the club’s accountant, who managed the project from start to finish, said: “This is an exciting development for the Club. Over the last 12 months, we have secured £175,000 of funding and grants to improve the playing pitches, install second and third team pitch floodlighting, and now provide environmental friendly clubhouse and squash court heating. This all contributes to our commitment to provide Penrith and Eden district with first class sporting facilities for both adults and youngsters”.

The official opening ceremony of the boiler complex will take place on Saturday 11th April, when the first team play their last home match of the season, with AW Jenkinson Forest Products in attendance as match sponsors.

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