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Borders College’s award winning SHARC Energy waste water heating project commended at Scottish Parliament

Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, and Russ Burton, Chief Operating Offi cer of International waste water Systems (owners of Sharc Energy Systems) in the Energy Centre at Borders College

Following two recent energy award wins for its pioneering SHARC Energy waste water heating project, Borders College was delighted to learn that the successful project has been commended at parliamentary level.

A number of MSPs backed a motion filed by Michelle Ballantyne, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party MSP for South Scotland, informing members of parliament of the College’s success at the Green Gown Awards (where they took the title of Best Newcomer), noting that these awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives by universities and colleges and commending Borders College on the achievement.

Borders College’s waste water heating system is the first of its kind in the UK. The system extracts residual heat from waste water in the sewage system, converting it into reusable energy which is capable of providing 95% of the heat needed for the College’s campus in Galashiels.

The SHARC Energy centre project (funded by Equitix and the UK Green Investment Bank plc) launched in December 2015, and has helped the College to significantly cut down campus heating costs in line with its Carbon Management Plan.

It has successfully scooped two national industry awards:

  1. Best Newcomer at the Green Gown Awards 2017, and
  2. Best Innovation Award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2017

Speaking of how Borders College made the decision to embark upon the pioneering project, Robert Hewitt, Facilities Manager, explained:

“We had previously evaluated other options, including Biomass and a District Heating Scheme, but neither of these was the right fit for Borders College for a variety of reasons. This led us towards working with SHARC.”

The College now benefits from a 20 year stable heat supply price, and there are plans underway for a second phase of development to further improve efficiencies and reduce maintenance requirements.

Scottish Water Horizons’ network user agreement with SHARC Energy Systems allows them access to all of Scotland’s sewer systems, enabling them to develop other systems of this kind elsewhere in Scotland.

The College continues to work closely with SHARC Energy to further develop the project and improve efficiencies.

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