SP Energy Networks’ £20m Green Economy Fund today awarded funding to thirteen Scottish low-carbon transport and heating projects.
The fund, established earlier this year by the electricity network operator, supports the green targets of the Scottish government to boost local economic growth, improve air quality in our cities and deliver a better future, quicker.
Almost £6m has been awarded after the first round of funding applications – including a partnership with First Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest bus operator, to bring the first large passenger electric buses to Glasgow.
The fund fund will also ensure the city’s only previous electric bus, which was set to stop running because of a lack of funding, will continue to operate on its popular museums route for the next three months.
In Edinburgh, a mini hydro-electric scheme on the Water of Leith at Saughton Park will also receive funding as will an innovative app which tracks electric vehicle charging points.
Frank Mitchell, chief executive of SP Energy Networks, said: “The Scottish government has an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions and to grow Scotland’s use of electric vehicles and SP Energy Networks is ready to help deliver that plan. We want to promote the uptake of electric vehicles and the development of the infrastructure required; we want to help with the provision of affordable low carbon heating to address fuel poverty and we want to encourage low carbon job creation.”
Andrew Jarvis, managing director of First Glasgow said: “The award will allow for the purchase and operation of our first electric vehicles in Glasgow whilst also future proofing our depot for more widespread electric bus operation. I am really looking forward to getting these new vehicles into service on route M3 and receiving feedback from our customers, our driving team and our engineering colleagues.”
Initiatives supported by the Green Economy Fund include:
- £1.5m has been awarded to establish Glasgow’s first permanent electric bus routes, the M3 First Glasgow service. With support from SPT, two electric buses manufactured by Alexander Dennis will operate between Milton and Glasgow city centre serving over 200,000 passengers annually.
- City of Edinburgh Council’s refurbishment of Saughton Park to introduce a micro-hydro scheme to power ground source heat pumps that will, in turn, produce electricity for community facilities, the Winter Gardens glasshouse, electric vehicle charge points and park lighting.
- £2.1m will support Scotland’s biggest and most ambitious regeneration project, the Clyde Gateway, to create a self-sufficient local energy supply and generate income that can be reinvested into local projects and reduce fuel poverty. This will be achieved by introducing heat pump technology into its waste water treatment centre.
- Community Transport Glasgow, Scotland’s first civic transport organisation to be fully low carbon, replacing ageing diesel minibuses with a new fleet of electric and low-carbon minibuses to provide life-line transport for more than 75,000 elderly, disabled and vulnerable passengers.
- Glasgow’s council-operated 100 service which connects the Riverside Museum with Kelvingrove, the SEC and the city centre, will also receive 3-months funding of £25,000 while SP Energy Networks works with the operators to find a permanent solution to prevent it from closure.
- The development of WattsUp, an app to guide drivers to their nearest electric charging point. It will collate data from all of Scotland’s network operators and provide real-time data on when and where to stop.
- A programme of local ‘smart energy’ action plans and feasibility studies developed with community councils in Dumfries & Galloway, the Scottish Borders, Fife and Glasgow led by the team at Community Energy Scotland.
- An ambitious project to improve energy efficiency of the iconic 1960s Basil Spence Canongate housing development in the heart of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile world heritage site.
- The establishment of two new car clubs – the Hawick Community EV Car Club in the Scottish Borders and KA8 Electric Car Club in North Ayrshire.
- Two sustainable energy facilitators employed by the Southern Uplands Partnership to develop energy initiatives and signpost funding to tackle issues such as rural fuel poverty and hard to insulate properties in the south of Scotland.
- A research project to develop a new model for community-led energy networks, which will feature a pilot scheme in Ettrick and Yarrow to connect locally generated renewable energy to electric vehicle charging points and public transport as well as storage heating in public facilities.
- A modern teaching facility at Dumfries & Galloway College for the teaching and development of renewable technologies with funding to provide technologies for heat and power to the hub, and to be used as teaching aids.
SP Energy Networks is working with the Scottish Government and energy regulator Ofgem to fund low-carbon initiatives which support local economic growth. The Green Economy Fund focuses on the communities in which SP Energy Networks operates – central and southern Scotland – and will run for two years.
Applications are invited for the second round of funding. For further information or to apply, visit www.spenergynetworks.co.uk/gef