£24 million district heating network opened

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, has officially opened Glenrothes’ new district heating network.


Supported by a £8.5 million  investment from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, the £24 million collaborative project between Fife Council and RWE has been delivered on time and on budget.


Paul Wheelhouse MSP (centre) and Cllr Vettraino (left) hear from Ian Clavert at RWE how the energy centre works

The new network, constructed in central Glenrothes, provides low carbon heating to the council’s Fife House complex, Rothes Halls and the sheltered housing complex at Jubilee Grove by using steam from the RWE biomass CHP plant at Markinch.


Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said, “I am delighted to officially open the Glenrothes Energy Network today.  This ambitious project, which has received £8.6 million support from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, is already providing reliable low carbon heat to a number of buildings and has potential for expansion in the future.


“I would like to congratulate both Fife Council and RWE on the way in which they have worked in partnership and their success in constructing the new energy centre and network within the town centre which will make a valuable contribution towards reducing carbon emissions and meeting our renewable heat targets.”


Steve Glover, Director of Hard Coal and Gas Power Plant UK, RWE Generation said: “RWE is proud to be part of this innovative partnership; the Energy Centre is one of the quickest built projects of its kind in the UK and represents a significant investment in our Fife operation.  This scheme offers the opportunity to provide affordable heat and lower carbon emissions and RWE are delighted to be part of its success.”


Cllr Ross Vettraino, Fife Council’s spokesperson for the environment said: “Fife continues leading the way in tackling climate change.  Bringing this district heating scheme to Glenrothes helps Fife Council reach its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 42% by 2020.  The scheme demonstrates how to tackle the Government’s long-term climate change targets at a local level and helps build confidence in modern, low carbon heat technology.”


Along with the three partners, several organisations have provided invaluable support delivering Glenrothes Energy Network:


Cllr Vettraino concluded: “This project is an exemplar of partnership working and what it can achieve. Thanks go to everyone involved in bringing this stage of the network to successful completion.”


The official opening marks the completion of the core network construction. Work is currently underway looking at connecting local businesses.  The network is ready for the future with the potential to connect more domestic customers when additional funding is sourced.


For more information on the project please go to www.glenrothesenergynetwork.co.uk






Toolkit launched to help employers create mentally healthy workplaces



According to the Mental Health Foundation, around 17.5% of the working age population have symptoms of a common mental health problem.


This means that in Fife, mental health issues are affecting over 40,000 16-24 year olds at any one time. The cost of this to businesses is significant, with estimates putting costs at around £1,300 per employee per year.


A toolkit has just been launched to help employers create mentally healthy workplaces – the best way to reduce sickness absence due to mental health issues.


The ‘just:ASK LISTEN TALK’ toolkit suggests steps you can take to improve how you and your staff view mental health at work.


It also gives you guidance on how to open up channels of communication with staff who are off sick due to poor mental health and how to support them back to work.


Click to download your copy of the toolkit or to order a printed version email sw.ses@fife.gov.uk


Developed by Fife Council’s Supported Employment Service, the toolkit is part of the 2019-20 Workforce Wellbeing Action Plan for Fife launched on 20 March by Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills.