STIRLING COUNCIL Council ownership of heat network, private ownership of heat generation Stirling Council partnered with Scottish Water Horizons (SWH) to build the first large-scale DH project in the UK utilising low- grade heat from waste-water treatment. The Council built the low temperature heat network, supported by LCITP funds, and supplies heat to end customers. Heat is provided from a newly constructed energy centre built by SWH. The scheme was commissioned in 2019 and supplies low carbon heat to several large public buildings including a leisure centre, a secondary school and offices, and has the capacity to expand to other areas. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS PROJECTS University ownership and operation, no third party sales Heat networks exist on many of the large university campuses in Scotland including Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Strathclyde. They have generally been developed to supply heat to their own properties and are owned and operated by in-house engineering and technical teams. The University of St Andrews aims to become the UK’s first energy carbon neutral university. The Eden Campus Biomass District Heating Scheme at Guardbridge includes a 6.5MW biomass boiler that delivers low carbon heat via 6km of DH pipework to 17 building complexes. Not only did the project aim to achieve carbon emissions savings, it also aimed to establish a green supply chain with local economic benefit, and act as a low carbon exemplar. University campuses are major heat anchors and have the potential to catalyse wider heat network expansion if they can overcome commercial, legal and technical barriers to sharing energy resources.
ABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL Council owned energy supply company
AberdeenHeat andPower (AH&P)was establishedbyAberdeen City Council in 2002 as an independent not-for-profit energy services company to deliver affordable heat, and thereby help to alleviate fuel poverty, and to reduce the Council’s carbon emissions. Under a 50-year Framework Agreement, guided by a strategic plan for DH, the Council specifies buildings to which heat is to be delivered and appoints AH&P to procure, install, operate and maintain DH schemes. Over the past 20 years, AH&P has converted 33 of 59 multi storey residential buildings from electric to DH. In supplying affordable heat, tenants’ heating bills have reduced between 20-50% and gas-fired CHP reduced carbon by 40% (3 . Flats are also warmer and healthier, and consequently there are less tenant complaints and lower levels of turnover. AH&P has also connected 15 public buildings, and through a for-profit subsidiary is supplying heat and private wire electricity to non- Council and non-domestic customers. The Council’s strategic plan for DH is to create a city-wide network in which the ‘island’ network’s generation plants can supply the singlenetwork, providinggreater flexibility, resilience and operating efficiencies. In line with the national net zero target, the Council will introduce its first low carbon heat source in 2022 by connecting to an energy from waste plant currently being constructed by Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, and Moray Councils in the south of the city (4 . Council owned heat network, privately owned heat generation Fife Council has progressed heat networks under its direct ownership, with the operation contracted to third parties. This approach has allowed the Council to progress its ambitions for decarbonisation, with two significant projects operating in Dunfermline and Glenrothes. The Glenrothes DH Scheme is a partnership between Fife Council and RWE. The Council built the heat network, supported by LCITP funds, and supplies heat to end customers. The heat is provided by RWE’s 65MWe biomass CHP plant at Markinch, the largest of its kind in the country. The first phase of the heat network was completed in 2019 and is focused on the area around the town centre close to the biomass plant which provides high density building demand and anchor loads. The intention is to expand the network in the future, with the potential to supply 24GWh/yr. of low carbon heat to Glenrothes.
District heating is a key pathway for securing net zero , recognised by Scottish Government in its Energy Strategy. Whilst there remain some structural challenges, notably the future of the UK gas grid, Scottish Government is implementing policies to support the expansion of district heating. Local authorities have been pioneering low carbon networks that demonstrate alternatives to gas and gas CHP are technically viable. With wider participation of the private sector in the delivery of such projects, low carbon district heating in Scotland presents a fantastic opportunity to move into deeper decarbonisation.
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