Vattenfall has been selected by Midlothian Council as its energy partner, joining to set up an Energy Services Company (ESCo). This partnership, which will be a 50/50 joint venture, will focus on delivering a wide range of energy projects across the area.
The first project will be a low carbon district heating network to the new Shawfair town on the outskirts of Edinburgh. The network will use heat supplied by FCC Environment, which operates Edinburgh and Midlothian’s energy from waste facility (EfW) near Millerhill.
In addition to setting up a long term ESCo, Midlothian Council aims to sign a 40 year agreement with the ESCo to supply heat to the new public buildings to be built at Shawfair. The new company will negotiate final contracts with its main initial partners, FCC Environment and Shawfair LLP. FCC will supply the low carbon heat and Shawfair LLP will facilitate the connections.
This first £20 million project will have financial support of up to £7.3 million from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transformation Project, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The ESCo aims to expand district heating into areas of East Lothian and Edinburgh, using low temperature heat that can also be tapped from sources such as sewage works and data centres. Working with the Coal Authority, the potential for utilising the former Monktonhall Colliery for heat storage and supply will also be investigated.
Beyond district heating projects the ESCo may be asked to consider solar PV, electric vehicle charging and direct wire electricity supplies to commercial properties.
Mike Reynolds, managing director of Vattenfall Heat UK adds: “Midlothian has an abundance of local, low carbon heat potential which means that we can begin the partnership’s work with the installation of a state-of-the-art heat network that will deliver affordable, low carbon heating to local homes at the Shawfair development.”
Paul Taylor, group chief executive of FCC Environment said: “This news is a hugely positive step enabling, as it will, the use of the heat that the combustion process creates improving yet further the efficiency of the plant. Feeding into the planned district heating network on the plant’s doorstep will allow, not just us at FCC Environment, but all parties involved to realise a vision of the future place for Energy from Waste facilities such as Millerhill across the UK.”
The details of agreements are now being worked up with a view to signing the contract by the middle of this year.
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