Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, was given a guided preview tour of the brand new Banchory Biomass Energy Centre, which is nearing completion at Hill of Banchory.
She was accompanied on her visit by Banchory and Mid Deeside Councillor, Jill Webster.
The Hill of Banchory Biomass Centre is the largest biomass district heating system currently under the ownership of a private sector local energy service company, (HOBESCO) in Scotland.
It uses locally-grown biomass woodchips from local sawmills and also locally-grown harvested willow coppice.
Two biomass boilers supply heat over a distance of around 6.5km locally, via a district heating pipework system.
In 2012, 102 homes in Hill of Banchory and business premises on the Banchory Business Park will be connected to the scheme and future development at the Hill of Banchory will also be connected to the district heating system.
District Heating itself is not new to Banchory; the scheme has been serving over
40 homes since 2008, utilising a temporary gas boiler. This heating scheme will be one of the largest in Scotland.
The visit followed a lunch at Banchory Lodge Hotel where Ruth addressed an assembly of around 80 guests.
Commenting on the visit, Councillor Jill Webster said: “Ruth was extremely interested in the new district heating system at Hill of Banchory.
“It is a truly sustainable business using locally-supplied materials. This is a considerable investment and offers cost-effective and sustainable heating to local residents and businesses.”