Star Renewable Energy will deploy the UK’s first water-source heat pump for district heating by September 2018, financed with a loan and a grant from the Scottish government.
The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon at the Scottish industry event ‘All Energy’.
Star Renewable Energy – an offshoot of Star Refrigeration – will deploy the UK’s first water-source heat pump (WSHP) for district heating by September 2018, on the south bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow, UK.
The 2.5 MW ammonia water-source heat pump will be installed in Glasgow’s former industrial heartland – the Gorbals - thanks to a 50% loan from the Scottish government.
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon announced this morning at Scottish industry event ‘All Energy’ that the rest of the project would be funded with a grant from the Scottish Low Carbon Infrastructure Investment Fund (LCITP).
The £3.5 million WSHP will draw energy from the waters of the Clyde and heat it up to 80°C, covering over 80% of the heat demand of the buildings in the area.
Dave Pearson, director of Star Renewable Energy, said: “It has been a long time since we proved in Drammen [in Norway, where Star installed the world’s biggest heat pump] that heat can be delivered at high temperatures from sources such as rivers without using HFCs.”
The district heating network will help deliver Scotland’s 2035 climate objectives by immediately reducing carbon emissions in the area by 50%.
The Scottish government is aiming to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2035 by reducing the carbon content on the electricity grid to 135g CO2/kWh.
The grid currently averages around 350g/kWh in the UK and 196g CO2/kWh in Scotland.
Tapping into the Renewable Heat Incentive
A so-called ESCo – a turnkey energy installation at no capital cost for the client – will initially operate the heat pump under a company formally owned by Star Renewable Energy.
The company seeks to sell the heat to nearby facilities at a price no higher than gas. Ownership is expected to shift to the public sector in 2028, with the project continuing to accrue money from the UK’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) until 2038.
“Don’t be scared of renewable heat. It creates jobs and supports the environmental goals without costing the Earth.”
– Dave Pearson, Star Renewable Energy's director
The RHI delivers payments to business over 20 years and is based on the heat output of a system as assessed by the UK government.
Pearson said: “It is frustrating that even with the support of the RHI, businesses have opted for burning gas in novel ways even when it is abundantly clear that the carbon footprint and exhaust emissions of gas [combined heat and power plants] CHP are not compatible with a low carbon society.”
“Don’t be scared of renewable heat. It creates jobs and supports the environmental goals without costing the Earth,” he said.
The announcement of a renewable heat network in Glasgow has been welcomed by environmental organisations such as WWF.
Dr. Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, said: “This exciting new project by Star Renewable Energy will apply tried and tested technology to draw heat from the Clyde that can then be used in sport centres, homes and offices.”
“With Scotland having no shortage of rivers or coastline near our towns and cities this technology could play an important role in not just tackling climate change but supporting job creation and investment across the country,” Gardner said.
More details of the project will be shared at the upcoming Euroheat & Power Congress in Glasgow on 14-17 May 2017.