Hot stuff - wastewater heat replaces boilers in Glasgow

Image: Scottish Water Horizons

Fuel poverty and sustainable heating are both being addressed in a ground-breaking project underway in the east-end of Glasgow, Scotland.

The natural heat in wastewater at Scottish Water's Dalmarnock wastewater treatment works will be used to heat homes and businesses and provide hot water and the scheme is expected to be so effective, it will remove the need for individual properties to house gas boilers altogether.

Clyde Gateway, Scotland’s biggest urban regeneration programme, has partnered with Scottish Water Horizons, a commercial arm of Scottish Water, on the project, which is thought to be one of the country's most innovative and sustainable heating systems. Initially 48 homes, as well as Clyde Gateway offices, will be connected to the district heating network with plans to connect over 300 homes and commercial businesses over the coming years.

As Scotland’s first Green Regeneration Innovation District (GRID) initiative, the £6.1 million project will remove the need for individual properties to house gas boilers. The system has been designed using two 100kw heat pumps, which capture and amplify the natural heat found in the final effluent at the treatment works, alongside a combined heat and power (CHP) engine.

The heat generated by this process will be captured and stored to use throughout the network to supply heating and hot water for homes and businesses through 3km of underground pipework. Designed to be considerably more efficient than conventional heating, it will also help reduce fuel poverty by lowering energy bills.

"The need for collaborative and innovative approaches to the way we heat our buildings has never been greater."

Paul Kerr, Scottish Water Horizons

Paul Kerr, managing director of Scottish Water Horizons, said: “The need for collaborative and innovative approaches to the way we heat our buildings has never been greater, with the implications of climate change evident every day. We’re thrilled to have played a part in this momentous project, supporting Scotland’s largest regeneration programme to date.

“With Scottish Water committed to net zero emissions by 2040, we’re constantly looking at ways we can contribute and facilitate this ambitious target. The Clyde Gateway project will not only help tackle fuel poverty in Glasgow’s east end, but will provide sustainable, efficient heating to support our journey to net zero.”

Ian Manson, chief executive of Clyde Gateway, said: "This new sustainable district heating system places Clyde Gateway as one of Scotland's leading energy efficiency and sustainability sites, benefitting hundreds of homes and businesses. The incredible 3km-long underground project is just as important to the ongoing regeneration of Glasgow's east end as any of the transformative above-ground projects that have taken place over the past decade.”

The new heating system will generate heat from the wastewater treatment process. Image: Scottish Water Horizons