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Heat from sewage scheme in Borders wins major award

01 December 2017

Britain’s first heat-from-sewage system has been recognised at a top energy innovation award ceremony.

The sewage energy recovery infrastructure which was installed at Scottish Borders College by Scottish Water Horizons and SHARC Energy Systems won the Best Innovation accolade at a prestigious event in Edinburgh last night.

The Scottish Green Energy Awards 2017, hosted by Scottish Renewables, honour the determination and creative thinking which defines new approaches to sustainable energy.

Scottish Water Horizons and SHARC Energy Systems were nominated in the innovation category for the ground-breaking project, launched at the end of 2015, which supplies the college campus with the majority of their annual heating and hot water demand, enabling them to save 150 tonnes of carbon per annum.

The SHARC technology utilises the natural warmth found in Scottish Water’s waste water network thanks to discharge from rainwater and household appliances such as dishwashers and showers.

The innovative scheme is the first of its kind in the UK and the first time the technology has been integrated with the public sewerage system. A wider potential roll-out across Scotland to enable large carbon savings is currently being considered.

It’s the second award in two weeks for the system; last week the heat-from-sewage scheme was recognised in the Green Gown Awards which recognise sustainability initiatives being undertaken in the university and college sector.

Donald MacBrayne, Scottish Water Horizons Business Development Manager, said: “These awards are a real showcase for sustainable energy and it’s an honour to have been selected as the winner in this category. Innovation is at the heart of what we do in terms of developing new ways to generate energy – in this case heat – which will have a wide range of positive benefits.

“We hope that this latest recognition, added to the project’s success in the Green Gown Awards, adds to the excitement across our communities and our industry about the potential for this kind of technology and systems like the Scottish Borders College heat from sewage network.”

Russ Burton, chief operating officer at SHARC Energy Systems, said: “On behalf of the team at SHARC, I am absolutely thrilled to have won the innovation category at the Scottish Green Energy Awards.

“It is a privilege for SHARC to have been involved in developing the Borders installation, in partnership with Scottish Water Horizons.

“The work we have done with Scottish Water Horizons and Borders College is a real demonstration of how collaboration and shared vison can generate an outstanding outcome for all stakeholders of a process. 

“To have been included in the innovations category of the Scottish Green Energy Awards alongside some of the other exciting renewable energy projects being driven forward by Scotland’s appetite and enthusiasm for green energy activity, was very flattering.

“It is a testament to all the hard work from the teams at SHARC, Scottish Water Horizons and Borders College and we look forward to building on these achievements over the next few months.”

Pete Smith, Vice-Principal, Finance and Resources, at Borders College, said: “Borders College is delighted that this innovative project is gaining recognition nationally, first winning a Green Gown Award and now also winning this Green Energy Award.  

“It really is testament to the entire team that the project has been such a success and shows what a true spirit of partnership working can achieve.”