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Biomass consists of residue from the timber industry

Valladolid to have Spain’s largest biomass-fed heating network

Valladolid to have Spain’s largest biomass-fed heating network

The promise is that it will save between 30% and 50% on users’ energy bills

Yesterday, 16 May, the Regional Government of Castile and Leon and the Valladolid City Council signed up an agreement that will allow the creation of the third biomass heating network in the city.  The 'West Valladolid' Sustainable Heating Network project, whose first works will go out to tender today, is scheduled for commissioning for the 2023-2024 heating season.

There are already two other such networks in the process of construction. Once all of them become operational and connected, they will represent Spain’s largest urban thermal network fed by biomass.

In concrete numbers, the “West Valladolid” will supply heating and hot water to 10,200 homes and 67 buildings in the neighbourhoods of Villa del Prado, Parquesol and the southwest area of ​​Huerta del Rey. It will involve a total investment of 30 million euros plus VAT and the creation of 72 jobs. It will also save users between 30% and 50% of their energy bill, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 31,300 tons of CO2/year and increasing the energy independence of Castile and Leon.

Turning to biomass as fuel

The biofuel to be used is forest chips from forestry work in the mountains of Castile and León, with a granulometry range of G100 and humidity between 20% and 40%. The forecast for future biomass consumption to cover the potential demand for connectable buildings is 50,200 tons of chips/year.

Forest biomass is a renewable source of feedstock for energy production. The term ‘biomass’ captures all the parts of a tree that are not used in the forestry industry and end up as waste.

As long as the forest biomass comes from a sustainably managed forest and is replaced (that is, renewed) over time through regrowth, the GHG emissions from the production of bioenergy can be considered to offset—at least to a large extent—fossil fuel emissions.

This is because, as part of its biological cycle, carbon is taken up by trees and becomes forest biomass that eventually dies, decays, and releases carbon that is in turn taken back up by renewed forest growth.

Converting the biomass to energy effectively captures the carbon energy. Although this conversion does emit carbon dioxide and other GHGs into the atmosphere, it also replaces the use of fossil fuels and their carbon emissions.

Once completed, the new Valladolid heating network will supply renewable thermal energy to meet the heating and domestic hot water demands of all buildings, both public and private, that are interested in being connected.

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