Stirling’s pioneering green heating network which will deliver low carbon energy to public buildings and businesses has gone live.
Forthside District Heating Network Group

The ground-breaking project at Forthside is the first in the UK to use a mix of cutting-edge renewable technologies to harness energy from waste water.

To mark the commissioning of this project a networking event was held today (Wednesday 6th November) in The Barracks Conference Centre, Stirling, which will be one of the buildings to benefit from low carbon heat.

Forthside buildings will feel the heat

The £6 million partnership project was delivered in collaboration with Scottish Water Horizons (SWH), with Stirling Council as lead partner. It will bring low-cost, low-carbon heat to the city and deliver a range of significant environmental and economic benefits. It will also provide low carbon electricity to the Scottish Water Treatment Works.

Stirling Council will own and operate the district heating network which will deliver low-carbon and energy cost savings heat to a number of key public buildings, including The Peak Leisure Centre, Forthbank Stadium, St Modan’s High School and organisations such as Zero Waste Scotland and Volunteer Scotland. SWH will own and operate the energy centre, located at the existing Stirling Waste Water Treatment Works in Forthside.

There is scope for the network to also be expanded across the city to include homes, helping tackle fuel poverty and providing savings for local businesses.

Project will provide environmental and economic benefits

Delivered by local building services company FES Energy, the project will deliver many benefits including: 

  • Greater energy efficiency and savings for users.
  • A reduction in carbon emissions.
  • Regeneration and economic development for the local community.
  • Local job creation and upskilling of workers.
  • Additional income for the Council over the long-term.
  • No impact on air quality.

The scheme will also greatly contribute towards Scotland’s zero-carbon targets by helping to save a projected 381 tonnes of carbon per annum – that’s the equivalent of 1.5 million miles driven in an average petrol car, or a passenger jet flying from Glasgow to Sydney, Australia, about 82 times.

Stirling is home to a new era of heating

Convener of Stirling Council’s Environment and Housing Committee, Councillor Jim Thomson, said: “The ground-breaking technology being used at this energy centre has made Stirling the home of a new era in heating.

“Our partnership with Scottish Water Horizons shows Stirling’s commitment to continue to protect and improve the environment, for both the area and Scotland as a whole. The district heating network will provide low carbon heat to a number of buildings in the Forthside area, many of which are public bodies and charitable organisations, helping deliver cost-saving benefits to the Council and residents.”

Heating network to generate income and jobs

Vice Convenor, Councillor Danny Gibson, said: “As a council we have made major progress in sustainability, reducing our carbon footprint in a range of ways. This pioneering project, which will help reduce environmental impact through fewer carbon emissions and recycling of waste resources, is further evidence of our determination to lead the way on this important issue. The facility will also help generate additional future income and provide employment opportunities through jobs in the growing renewables sector.”

Managing Director of Scottish Water Horizons, Paul Kerr, said: “We’re really proud of this low carbon project in Stirling. Not only will Stirling Council and end-users benefit from reduced carbon and energy costs, but the scheme is also providing Scottish Water’s Stirling Waste Water Treatment Works with the majority of its energy requirements, helping support Scottish Water’s target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2040.

“The project has great potential for replication throughout Scotland, with several opportunities already under investigation, and we’re always on the lookout for more.”

The Facility 

This project was made possible through match funding from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP), which is a joint Scottish Government and EU capital funding programme. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon toured the facility in August.