SHARC gets teeth into college

Scottish Borders Campus and Borders College Heriot-Watt University.
Scottish Borders Campus and Borders College Heriot-Watt University.

Work is currently underway at Borders College’s campus at Netherdale in Galashiels on a project that will see its buildings heated using sewage.

SHARC Energy Systems is the UK-based subsidiary partner of International Waste Water Heat Exchange Inc. (IWHES) based in Canada.

SHARC has secured a £4million investment from Equitix and the UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) to finance the installation of the SHARC sewage heat recovery system under heat purchase agreements.

The Equitix-managed fund Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which GIB is a cornerstone investor, is investing £2m in the programme and an additional £2m of private sector capital has been mobilised from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF).

This is now being used to support the first project at Borders College and a pipeline of others being developed across Scotland. The first scheme will see waste water from Scottish Water’s network used for the heat recovery system.

Commenting recently on the deal, SHARC chief executive Russ Burton said the flagship installation at Borders College involved a 20-year contract between the college and the company, making it the first organisation to adopt the world-leading technology in the UK.

“It also represents a major step forward in its heat production and energy efficiency targets for the entire campus,” he added.

Borders College, with 5,500 students, has entered into a Heat Purchase Agreement with SHARC, which means the college will purchase their heat from SHARC at a discount to gas prices that will be sustained for an extended period.

The system that has been designed for the college will deliver 95% of all its heat requirements.

SHARC has worked with Scottish Water to enable sewage to be intercepted from its network in the Galashiels area. The scheme has been developed in such a way as to not impact on the normal operation of the sewerage network and enable the downstream waste water treatment process to continue working effectively.

Additional automatic monitoring has been built into the system by Scottish Water which, using its water resources, helps support the development of renewable energy, economic growth and sustainable technologies.

The SHARC sewage heat recovery system is already installed in numerous locations across Canada and North America. Unique in the UK and Europe, the system generates energy-saving, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solutions for heating, cooling and hot water by extracting heat from waste water and sewage.

SHARC installs the equipment and then sells the energy back to the customer through heat purchase agreements.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of UK Green Investment Bank, said: “We are backing the deployment of innovative new technology across the UK to produce renewable energy, cut energy use, cut costs and improve the UK’s green performance.

“It is enabling SHARC Energy systems to equip Borders College with pioneering technology in an arrangement I hope can be replicated elsewhere in the country.”