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Fri February 26 2021

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Take-off for Scottish Water’s heat from sewage venture

21 Mar 18 Scottish Water has formed a joint venture with a Canadian company to generate heat from raw sewage.

Scottish Water Horizons, Scottish Water’s renewable energy subsidiary, has joined forces with Sharc Energy Systems to deploy wastewater heat recovery systems across Scotland.

Scottish Water Horizons will provide commercial funding for the projects; Sharc Energy will provide the design, build and operational capability.

The Scottish government is supporting the sewage heat recovery schemes with 50% grant capital support through its low carbon infrastructure transition programme.

The alliance is the result of three years of collaboration between Sharc and Scottish Water Horizons, which has created a £20m pipeline of potential installations across Scotland that, when deployed, would generate 170 Giga Watt hours per year of heating and cooling to displace the fossil fuel currently used.

It follows the launch of the UK’s first sewage heat recovery system, developed and installed by Sharc and facilitated by Scottish Water Horizons at Borders College in Galashiels, which aims to displace 1.8 GWhs of natural gas per year.

The system provides heating and cooling to customers through a heat supply agreement. This works much like that of any energy supplier, they say, but customers have no up-front costs. Included in the heat supply agreement are the costs of design, installation, servicing and maintenance and the supply of equipment.

The Sharc system intercepts wastewater from sewers and uses heat pump technology to amplify the natural warmth of wastewater. Its heat recovery systems are made by Flow Mech Products in Leicester.

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Scottish Water Horizons managing director Paul Kerr said: “Heat accounts for over 50% of Scotland’s total energy use, so by forming this alliance to deploy further heat from waste water schemes, we can help further develop Scotland’s low carbon economy.

“Our alliance with Sharc provides us with a unique and exciting opportunity to maximise the residual heat that runs through some of Scottish Water’s 32,000 miles of sewer pipes.  Using this innovative technology we are able to roll out a sustainable, low-carbon heating solution to our customers, whilst enhancing and protecting the environment.”

Sharc chief operating officer Russ Burton said: “This announcement is a very exciting step for Sharc and represents the culmination of three years of very productive working with Scottish Water Horizons to identify opportunities for the Sharc technology.

“Having the support from Scottish Water Horizons will give customers confidence in the Sharc technology, positioning it as a sustainable and viable wastewater heat recovery solution.

“With gas prices constantly fluctuating, our heat supply agreement gives cost certainty by guaranteeing the price for the length of the agreement.”

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