Sewage powers heating system in Galashiels

Galashiels, Borders College Campus, Netherdale, UK. 08.12.2015.   First in UK, Heat from Sewage scheme Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, today launched the first SHARC energy recovery system at Borders College Campus, in Galashiels. Part of a 20 year purchase agreement, providing 95% of the campus heating needs. Pictured here with  Russ Burton, CEO of SHARC Energy Systems in the new plant. (Photo: Rob Gray)
Russ Burton with Fergus Ewing

A project to power a heating system with sewage is up and running in Galashiels.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing launched the UK’s first SHARC energy recovery system at the Scottish Borders Campus.

Backed by investment from Equitix and the UK Green Investment Bank, the system, which provides around 95% of the heat needed by the campus, is said to intercept waste water from a sewer close to the local treatment works operated by Scottish Water.

A heat pump amplifies the natural warmth of waste water and the heat produced is being sold to Borders College under a 20-year purchase agreement, with the aim of producing savings in energy, costs and carbon emissions.

Russ Burton, CEO of SHARC Energy Systems said, “We are delighted to see the first UK installation of the SHARC system up and running at Borders College. This has been an extremely important project for us in the UK and Europe, and we have seen a lot of interest in the system elsewhere.”

Scottish Water Horizons, a subsidiary of the public utility, has played a key role in turning the project into reality.

Alan Scott, Scottish Water’s finance director, explained, “The UK’s first sewage to heat scheme in Galashiels is an excellent example of how water resources can be harnessed and maximised, furthering the development of Scotland’s low carbon economy. Scottish Water Horizons is delighted to have played a leading role in turning this initiative into reality. With 32,000 miles of sewer pipes throughout Scotland, we’re exploring the potential for this approach to be replicated at other locations, offering further environmental and heating cost benefits.”

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said, “Heat is estimated to account for over half of Scotland’s total energy use and is responsible for nearly half of our greenhouse gas emissions. The move towards low carbon and renewable heat offers enormous potential to boost Scotland’s economic growth while providing affordable warmth by exploiting the opportunity for more productive use of energy for heating and cooling from a range of sources.”