The La Girada biomass boiler house in the municipality of Vilafranca del Penedes in Spain is a clear example of how the wine region uses vine pruning for heating and hot water supply, thus reducing CO2 emissions.

UABIO experts Tetiana Zheliezna and Semeon Drahniev visited the municipality of Vilafranca del Penedes, which implemented the VINEYARDS4HEAT project on energy use of distributed local biomass (vineyard pruning) within the framework of the European Life Assistance and Energy Climate Covenant of Mayors initiative.

For heating and hot water supply of five buildings in 2015, the city built a central heating boiler La Girada with a solid fuel boiler Heizomat with a capacity of 500 kW, which annually uses 150 tons of shredded grapes.

Read more about how UABIO experts Tetiana Zheliezna and Semeon Drahniev visited a vineyard in the Penedes region, where grape pruning is harvested mechanically to optimize the process? Read here. Video of how to collect and grind grape prunes:

What did we learn about the boiler house?

  • The boiler house is serviced by a private heat supply company, which buys biofuels within a radius of 15 km from local farmers at a price of 60-80 Euro/ton with delivery.
  • Services in harvesting and logistics of grape pruning are performed by a specialized cooperative NOU VERD. The cost of the service of picking the vine and its crushing is 20 Euros/ha.
  • In addition, grape prunes are purchased as fuel by local wineries. In total, the cooperative harvests grape prunes from November to March from an area of ​​300-400 hectares. Humidity of biomass during harvesting is 20-30%, so before burning it is stored in a warehouse for a period of 1 month, so the vine is dried to a humidity of about 16%.
  • The fuel characteristics of grape pruning are slightly worse than those of wood, in particular, the ash content reaches 6.3%, so it is necessary to use boilers adapted for this purpose.

This study tour and seminar “Use of grape pruning for heat production” took place within the Horizon2020 Project AgroBioHeat “Promoting the penetration of agrobiomass heating solutions in European rural areas” in which UABIO is involved. 

Organizers of the seminar “The use of grape pruning for heat production” and technical tours: the Spanish Bioenergy Association Avebiom and the Center for Research and Technology Hellas.

Read also:

  • about the harvesting biomass on the vineyards in Spain
  • how the Spanish winery, one of the world’s most famous companies, Bodegas Torres uses a biomass steam boiler.