Midlothian, a city situated in the east-central Lowlands of Scotland, has partnered with Vattenfall, a Swedish state-owned energy company for the delivery of energy projects totalling £100m.
Vattenfall will work with Midlothian council to set up a new Energy Services Company (ESCo) as part of a 50/50 joint venture focussed on delivering a wide range of heating, solar PV, electric vehicle charging, and direct wire electricity projects across the area.
Vattenfall Heat senior vice president Tuomo Hattaka said “We’re delighted to have been selected by Midlothian Council for this long term energy partnership that puts low carbon, fossil-free living front and centre of its ambition.
“Any organisation or company serious about reaching net zero has low carbon heating at the top of its to do list, and this energy partnership is no different,” he added.
The first project will be a fourth generation low carbon district heating network in the new Shawfair town in the outskirts of Edinburgh.
The network will rely on heat supplied by the waste management company FCC Environment, which operates energy from a waste facility (EfW) near Millerhill. The EfW is fuelled by residual waste collected by the local councils of Midlothian, Edinburgh and East Lothian.
This first project is worth £20m and, with Midlothian having already declared a climate emergency, will benefit from financial support of up to £7.3m from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transformation Project. This scheme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The heating project is expected to save over 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of taking 1,200 petrol or diesel cars off the road.
Paul Taylor, Group Chief Executive of FCC Environment said: “The news is a hugely positive step enabling, as it will, the use of the heat that the combustion process creates improving yet further the efficiency of the plant.
“Feeding into the planned district heating network on the plant’s doorstep will allow, not just us at FCC Environment, but all parties involved to realise a vision of the future place for Energy from waste facilities such as Millerhill across the UK,” he added.
Future projects to be undertaken by the ESCo are set to include potential expansion of the district heating network into the East Lothian and Edinburgh areas and establish a network similar to those in major cities throughout Europe, such as Amsterdam.
The network will be built as a low temperature heating and it is hoped to significantly modernise heating technology in Scotland.
In the meantime, Vattenfall is working on its offshore wind projects in the UK aimed to deliver electricity to 5 million homes by 2030 while helping the transition from fuel to renewable energy.