New ‘green’ energy system for leisure centre

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 8:58am

A new renewable energy system has recently been installed at Dawlish Leisure Centre, as part of the much needed upgrade to the building management system.

The new biomass heating system is fuelled by wood pellets, which burn more cleanly than traditional fossil fuels and are practically carbon neutral because they use natural resources.

The installation of the biomass heating system is part of Teignbridge District Council’s ongoing plan to reduce waste and the reliance on fossil fuels, become more energy efficient, save on costs and protect the environment for future generations.

The current heating boilers and building management system have outlived their long and useful 20-year life. As well as a six-week consultation period, a detailed viability evaluation showed biomass would provide the best service for customers. It will save more than £400,000 over the next 20 years, as well as making a saving of 170 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Teignbridge wrote to residents nearby and held drop-in sessions at the leisure centre so people could find out more about the benefits of biomass. Planning permission was granted by Teignbridge’s Planning Committee on 2 June 2015 [1].

The work was carefully timed to make sure disruption to customers was kept to a minimum. The control systems for the whole building have been upgraded and the switch over to the new heating system was completed on 16 December 2015. The biomass boiler will heat all public areas, offices, wet and dry changing rooms, as well as the gym and the pool hall.

Councillor George Gribble, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive member for Recreation and Leisure, said: “The old building management system and heating boilers at Dawlish Leisure Centre have outlived their long and useful 20-year-life. They have been replaced with a new sustainable, energy efficient system so that Teignbridge can continue to provide the best customer service and the best value because it will pay for itself in only 14 years.

“The installation of the biomass heating system shows Teignbridge’s commitment to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and becoming more energy efficient, as well as saving money for tax payers.

“The new system is working well.”

Councillor Sylvia Russell, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The installation of the new biomass system shows Teignbridge is working hard to achieve its carbon reduction targets as identified in its adopted Local Plan and forms part of its pledge to maximise the use of renewable energy to protect the environment for future generations.”

The news has been welcomed by Councillor Lisa Mayne, Teignbridge District Council’s Ward member for Dawlish Central & North East:

“It’s important that we provide the best possible service for local people, at the same time as reducing our carbon footprint.

“The biomass system helps us to achieve this, as well as provide an opportunity for local school children to learn more renewable energy in practice.

“Thanks to residents for their understanding and patience while this vital work takes place.”

Dawlish Leisure Centre helps residents maintain a healthy lifestyle providing a 25 meter swimming pool and a fitness suite.

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