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Case Studies > Investing in Renewables

Roxburghe Estate


Case Study Investing in Renewables Roxburghe Estate www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Investing in Renewables With Estate sawmills now few and far between, Bowmont Forest Sawmill on Roxburghe Estates, was one of the few remaining commercial Estate sawmills in Scotland. The mill has been in operation since 1886 converting estate grown timber into sawn fencing materials.

In 2015 the difficult decision was taken to stop milling timber on site but due to the Estate’s vision to ‘sustain the long term viability of all Estate enterprises through developing and operating new business activities’, closure was not an option.

Since 2008, the sawmill supplied woodchips to the biomass boilers installed at Floors Castle. So a decision was taken to start a new enterprise called Floors Forestry which would expand the biomass fuel operation at the sawmill site thus safeguarding jobs and providing a market for local grown small roundwood.

The Forestry Commission approved Long Term Forest Plan on the Estate’s 1500 hectare woodland portfolio has meant that Floors Forestry has a product that could be offered to the marketplace with full traceability. This means that the provision of biomass off the estate ensures compliance for any customer to qualify for their RHI from the Department of Energy.

The initial investment in chipping machinery and storage facilities has been followed by further investment in 2016/17 in a bespoke woodchip drying facility with the installation of a 400kw Veto Boiler, steel drying floors and dry chip storage area. This has resulted in Floors Forestry being able to offer a high quality woodchip with a regulated moisture content to their expanding customer base.

The old sawmill has now been reinvigorated with new inward investment and purpose. The availability of a secure local supply of woodchips has resulted in a number of businesses having the confidence to progress with biomass boiler installations and the investment by the Estate has “helped it happen”.

The Estate woodland portfolio plays an important role providing sustainable wood fuel and although a small part of the larger Estate, their core determination to secure the viability of this enterprise and provide a quality fuel supply to local businesses is an important part of their business model.
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