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19/05/2014 - Local Donegal businesses take part in Ren NET visit to pioneering District Heating Project in Scotland


The Renewable Energy Business Network - Ren Net - will visit Aberdeen in Scotland this week to view a district heating system in operation in Hill of Banchory Biomass Energy Centre and attend the ALL Energy Conference and Exhibition in Aberdeen, Scotland.


Ren Net is a local green economy network in the North West providing products, services and advice and the trip will include representatives from ten businesses across the North West including five businesses from Donegal.  The Ren Net project is an EU funded project being delivered through cross border partnership, led by the North West Region Cross Border Group (NWRCBG) with Donegal County Council as the lead Council.


The Hill of Banchory Biomass Energy Centre and District Heating Network is widely recognised as a pioneering scheme in Scotland. Owned and operated by local energy company HOBESCO, the woodchip fuelled boilers provide renewable heating and hot water to the growing Hill of Banchory Community.  Wood fuel is sourced locally from sawmill co-product half a mile away and from specially grown SRC Willow, an Energy Crop managed by HOBESCO, contributing to total project carbon savings of more than 3,000 tonnes a year. The Energy Centre is designed to sustainably meet the needs of the current existing and planned residential, commercial and community buildings, including a proposed leisure centre, as well as leaving capacity within the building for future housing in the area, as set out in Aberdeenshire Council’s Local Development Plan.


Aberdeen is world-famous for its expertise in offshore oil and gas production. Those skills are transferable to offshore renewables. They are now adding a third component – a hydrogen economy.  It is a crucial step towards Aberdeen becoming a world-leading, smart energy city. Hydrogen is an increasingly important source of clean energy, offering a low carbon solution. A fleet of 10 hydrogen fuel cell buses will be fully operational in Aberdeen by the end of 2014 and participants at All-Energy will get a first-look of the new fleet which will be parked the show.


The ALL Energy Conference and Exhibition attracts approx 8000 visitors from 48 countries and has 350 industry speakers in 56 world-class conference sessions.  Over 600 companies from 17 countries exhibit at the show.


If you would like to find out more about Ren Net visit  or follow us on Facebook.


The Ren Net project is a cross border partnership working together to develop the North West Region and is comprised of Derry City Council, Limavady Borough Council, Magherafelt District Council, Donegal County Council and Strabane District Council.  Donegal County Council is the Lead implementing Council for this particular project. The Ren Net project is part funded by the European Union European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG IVA Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).  The project lifetime is 39 months, commencing on 1 March 2012 and will complete on 31 May 2015.





The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland.  It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IV designed to enhance cross border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.  The Programmes operate within a clear defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland.


The INTERREG IVA Programme, funded under the European Regional Development (ERDF), is worth €256 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders.  It has two distinct priority measures to create co-operation for a more prosperous and sustainable cross-border region.


For more information on the SEUPB please visit .


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