West Dunbartonshire Council’s pioneering heating complex at Queens Quay in Clydebank.
By Lauren Crooks and Aileen Maclennan
West Dunbartonshire Council’s pioneering heating network has been named the most efficient, smart and sustainable project of the year after winning a prestigious award.
The European Heat Pump Awards, which attracts entries from all over the world, announced the system in Clydebank as the winner in the Heat Pump City of the Year category.
The award recognises projects which are making a difference at a local level.
A panel of expert judges were impressed with use of the £20million technology, which sees water taken from the River Clyde to generate heat for buildings on the site of the former John Brown Shipyard, now known as Queens Quay.
The West Dunbartonshire Energy Centre is home to the first large-scale water source heat pump scheme of its kind in Scotland, and will contribute towards making Clydebank one of the greenest areas in the country.
Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of the Council’s Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development Committee and Cllr Danny Lennie, of West Dunbartonshire Energy LLP.
Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of the Council’s Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development Committee, said: “This is a huge achievement and I want to say a big congratulations to the team for getting this recognition, which shows we are truly leading the way.
“This system is the first of its kind in Scotland and I am proud that West Dunbartonshire is using this natural resource to provide energy, not only to help us achieve our Net Zero targets, but also to support residents and help eliminate fuel poverty.”
Councillor Daniel Lennie, Board Member of West Dunbartonshire Energy LLP, added: “This ambitious project will be extremely beneficial to the people of Clydebank for generations to come and I am pleased to see that the years of work and planning that has gone into reaching this point is getting international recognition.”
Since switching on in December last year, the energy centre supplies heat through 5km of below-ground pipework to Council offices at Aurora House, the Titan Enterprise Centre, Clydebank Leisure Centre and the new care home at the site, Queens Quay House.
Pipework is also in place to supply the forthcoming Clydebank Health Centre, over 140 flats and retail units currently on site, all other homes planned for the site as well as Clydebank Library and Clydebank Town Hall.
The low carbon system has been designed on a modular basis to enable future expansion beyond Queens Quay, with scope to heat the Golden Jubilee Hospital, Clyde Shopping Centre and into the town centre.
The introduction of the network will make a major contribution towards the Council’s climate change targets, as well as allowing residents of more than 1000 homes due to be built on the site to enjoy lower bills with a system that requires far less upkeep than a gas boiler.
Scott Lutton, Operations Director for Vital Energi, said “We’re delighted for West Dunbartonshire Council and the wider team for this award win. It’s a truly great achievement, putting water source heat pumps and heat network schemes at the forefront of the road to net zero. Working collaboratively with West Dunbartonshire Council highlights how effective these partnerships can be and we look forward to growing the network further.”
Dave Pearson, Group Sustainable Development Director at Star Refrigeration Ltd said: “We are delighted that West Dunbartonshire have been recognised internationally for their leadership in harnessing the local river heat with heat pumps. This facility will be harnessing heat from the Clyde for decades to come; heat that has a very low carbon footprint and isn’t based on gas and the risks this brings.”
The Heat Pump Award was launched in 2011 to highlight cities and regions that have put in place an energy-efficient project which takes advantage of Heat Pump technology.
Meanwhile, Argyll and Bute Council has once again signalled its commitment to supporting the global drive to tackle the climate change emergency.
Members approved a motion renewing the pledge, originally made by the Council in September 2019, to play its part in the worldwide effort to address global warming.
The motion referred to the publication of the recent United Nations Climate Change Report which outlined the scale of the threat, warning that the situation is now a ‘Code Red for Humanity’.
It also highlighted just some of the actions the council has been taking in recent years to ensure Argyll and Bute further improves its current positive position and low carbon emissions levels.
Council Leader, Robin Currie, above right, said: “While we are fortunate in having one of the lowest carbon footprints anywhere in the UK, we also recognise that there is no room for complacency on this critical subject.
“We are committed to helping the drive to tackle the impacts of climate change at local, regional and national levels wherever possible. This is a key priority for the council and, building on the actions we are already taking through the Decarbonisation Plan, we will work with our communities and our partners to explore all possible options to tackle the threat which climate change presents.”