Biomass boilers are a business asset
The government, being aware that businesses change, move, and sometimes cease trading, designed the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme to allow used biomass boilers to be moved and / or to change hands. When the used boiler is moved or sold the tariff remains at the level of the original install.
As the RHI payments were higher at the start of the scheme than current levels it can, in certain circumstances, be beneficial for new projects to consider a second hand biomass boiler with a higher tariff rather than a new biomass boiler.
Of course this is also beneficial for the seller who has invested in a low carbon technology and is able to sell on the system at a higher price than would have been the case without the transferred tariff.
Pros and cons of a second hand biomass boiler
The main benefit of going for a second hand system is simply the ability to get a higher tariff than is available on the new scheme. With small scale systems <200kW in size, at the peak of the RHI 5 years ago systems had a tariff that is approximately 3 times higher than the current one. Even factoring in for there being 15 years left on the RHI in comparison to the 20 years available for new installations, over the remaining lifetime of the RHI scheme a second hand system could generate up to double the amount of RHI payments. Similarly with medium scale systems from 200 to 999kW you could be up to 25% better off over the lifetime of the scheme. Another benefit is that the payback period would be shorter and return on investment greater with a second hand system.
Whilst the financial benefits can be significant, there are also some negative points. Typically the installation price of a second hand system will be as much as if not more than a new system. There is an additional costs consideration over and above a new system, as often a reasonable amount of work is required to decommission the system prior to it being moved to another site. New systems would come with a manufacturers warranty, though in most cases this would have expired by the time the boiler is moved to another site. The main issue is that there are not huge quantities of second hand systems available, so you are limited to the type and size of boiler available at that moment in time. Decent systems on good tariffs don't hang about for long either, so you need to ensure you are in a position to make a quick decision when an appropriate system becomes available.
We manage the selling, moving & buying of used biomass boilers
With over 800 systems sold and working, Treco is well-placed to help with the sale, the move and the install of used biomass boilers. We have already undertaken a number of such installs as well as completing the required RHI paperwork to change ownership of the systems and RHI account.
The RHI has been supporting the installation of commercial biomass boilers for over five years now, with approximately 18,000 commercial systems currently receiving RHI payments, so from time to time second hand systems do become available for various reasons. Given our position in the market we have a number of existing biomass owners contact us whom are interested in selling their systems, so over time have built up a portfolio of a variety of second hand systems at various tariffs that are available for purchase.
If you are interested in buying or selling a second hand biomass system, contact us to see how we can assist you.
Look through our other low carbon technologies
Biomass boilers produce heat by burning biological material from a renewable and sustainable source. Virgin wood is the most common type, but the appropriate biomass boiler can also use waste as a source of fuel.
Combined Heat & Power
Combined Heat & Power (CHP) can be used to generate electric and heat by burning biomass or fossil fuel. Sites that have a high and continuous heat and electric demand will benefit the most from this technology through fuel savings.
Biomass boilers can be utilised with a drying system to dry products such as crops and wood to increase their value, or alternatively to lower the weight of waste prior to disposal by evaporating water. This is classified as process heat, with some of these being an approved use on the RHI scheme.
District heating schemes allow multiple buildings to be supplied heat by a single boiler, thus enabling large savings in installation and operating. These schemes become progressively more cost effective with increased amounts of buildings that are connected.
Treco's RHI calculator
Try our RHI calculator to work out the fuel cost savings, potential RHI payments & payback you can expect from you biomass project. Developed in house by us, all you have to do is enter your boiler size, installed cost, current fossil fuel usage and your preferred biomass fuel type.
Buying, selling & moving existing biomass boilers
Due to recent changes in the government RHI rates, an older boiler can give you a more lucrative pay back tariff.