River Clyde District Heating Network plans move forward

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Plans to use water from the River Clyde to heat homes and businesses have taken a step forward after the local authority agreed to fund part of the District Heating Network scheme

A District Heating Network in Clydebank has taken a step closer to being realised after West Dunbartonshire Council agreed to secure funding for the high-tech system.

The ambitious plans would see homes and businesses heated using water from the River Clyde. Heat pumps would extract the water through insulated pipes, which would then be directed to buildings throughout the Queen’s Quay area of the town.

The £12m heating system would reduce CO2 emissions by 15 per cent over the next seven years, contributing significantly to the council’s climate change targets. The scheme will also benefit up to 200 rented homes that are being developed on the site by registered social landlords. It will also assist some 1,000 private homes.

The new District Heating Network would be utilised by a number of public buildings, among which is West College Scotland, Clydebank’s new Leisure Centre, the new care home and health centre at the site, the council’s offices at Aurora House, Titan Business Centre, the Town Hall, and Clydebank Library.

Funding sought from LCIT programme

The council has agreed to pay 50 per cent of the cost of the District Heating Network, forking over some £6m towards the scheme. It has applied for the remaining £6m funding to be matched by the Scottish government via the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition programme. A decision on this will be made in February next year. Via the Energy Trust’s Renewable Heat Incentive Fund (RHI), the project will also receive up to 20 years of financial support.

Councillor Patrick McGlinchey, convener of infrastructure, regeneration and economic development, said: “I am delighted this project has been approved as it is a significant step forward for the council, residents and the environment.

“The council will lead the Municipal Energy Supply Company which will support the project giving us the opportunity to not only generate an income, but to further expand the scheme throughout Clydebank.

“This is also great news for our residents as it will allow the council to offer residents a reduced tariff for their heating supply and in return help residents who may be facing fuel poverty.”

System will benefit local people and businesses

Councillor David McBride, vice-convener of infrastructure, regeneration and economic development, said the network would have a major benefit for businesses and residents now and in the future.

“The system has been designed to not only serve the developments at Queens Quay but has the potential to serve businesses and houses further afield.

“As a council we are committed to delivering affordable housing to our residents and this district heating network will also help us provide affordable energy for residents in the heart of Clydebank and beyond.”

It is expected a new purpose built energy centre will be in place at Queens Quay by February 2018. The piping will be installed next year.

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