Scottish Water to roll out sewage heat recovery systems

Scottish Water has announced a partnership which will help it expand and accelerate the deployment of sewage heat recovery systems across Scotland.

The company’s renewables-focused subsidiary – Scottish Water Horizons – has joined forces with SHARC Energy Systems to reduce heating costs and cut carbon emissions.

The two firms have been informally collaborating for two years to draw up a £20 million pipeline of potential installations across Scotland. When deployed, these would generate 170GWh per year of heating and cooling to displace the fossil fuel currently used.

The new alliance will support the Scottish government’s ambitious renewable heat and carbon reduction targets for 2020. Scottish Water Horizons has estimated that up to 750 such systems would need to be installed by 2020 to enable Scotland to achieve its carbon savings targets.

The SHARC system was developed by Vancouver-based International Wastewater Systems, the publicly traded parent company of SHARC Energy Systems, and has been deployed in numerous international locations.

The technology works by heating the wastewater from sewers with heat pump technology to amplify the natural warmth of wastewater.

This then generates an energy-saving, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly system for heating, cooling and hot water production in commercial and residential buildings.

Scottish Water Horizons head Andrew Macdonald said: “The potential to deploy this technology is significant. Heat accounts for more than half of Scotland’s total energy use and we believe that by harnessing the natural resources of our vast wastewater network, we can further the development of Scotland’s low carbon economy, whilst protecting and enhancing the environment.

“Scottish Water treats over 900 million litres of wastewater every year and we are determined to maximise the opportunities presented.

“Our alliance with SHARC Energy is an exciting opportunity which will help to accelerate the deployment of this proven technology on a wider scale, providing customers with an innovative and sustainable lower cost heating solution.”