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sustainable buildings

A luxury resort is to significantly reduce its emissions and energy costs after swapping its oil- fired heating system for a complete biomass and LPG solution.

Hilton resort breaks oil dependency

THE Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch in the Scottish Highlands has taken stock of a new 199kW wood- pellet-fired biomass boiler with LPG back- up from Flogas. Custom-designed to fulfil the yearly two

million kilowatt hours (kWh) heating and hot water demands of the resort’s 32 guest suites, as well as its dining and leisure facilities, the system has projected annual carbon savings of more than 65 per cent, and the promise of ongoing payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). After extensive refurbishment to turn the

former Hilton Hotel in Royal Deeside into a Hilton Grand Vacations Club property, the management team needed to address the ongoing heating requirements of the luxury timeshare development. Keen to find a more sustainable and cost-effective alternative to the existing kerosene-fired system, which was using more than 200,000 litres of oil every year, they investigated biomass as a potential new fuel source. “Biomass made perfect sense for the

new vacation ownership suites and other facilities – especially given the high hot


water demands of our two indoor swimming pools, gym and spa, which make up around 70 per cent of our total consumption,” says Michael Coletta, director of business management, Hilton Grand Vacations EMEA, and approached supplier Flogas for a tailored solution. “Although often used on its own as a

lower cost, more efficient alternative to oil, LPG is also the perfect partner for biomass systems. It allows businesses to move to a renewable energy source, whilst still enjoying the security of a back-up fuel that can cut costs by up to 40 per cent and emissions by up to 50 per cent,” says Neville Scott of Flogas. After assessing the site’s exact heating

requirements, Flogas specified and installed a 199kW wood pellet boiler, 3,000L buffer tank, pellet storage and chimney stack, which fulfils around 60 per cent of the resort’s annual heat demand. Three existing oil boilers were also converted to LPG to provide reliable back- up when needed and to support the biomass system during peak season. The resort expects to significantly cut its

carbon footprint and costs with projections showing that the change from oil to biomass and LPG will save around 400 tonnes of CO2 a year, as well as the financial benefits that accrue from cheaper fuels. The new system is also eligible for support under the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which will provide the company with quarterly, inflation-linked payments over the next 20 years. The new biomass system has been

installed in a timber-clad cabin on the site of the old kerosene oil tanks. It uses insulated pipes to transport hot water to a plant room approximately 70m away in the main resort building, where the LPG boiler is also located. The on-site LPG tanks have been mounded to ensure they fit unobtrusively with the surroundings, and are refuelled regularly by Flogas’ national LPG delivery network. Hilton uses the automatic biomass fuel supply service from Flogas Renewables, with sensors in the biomass pellet silo triggering alerts and delivery when supply drops below a certain level.

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