Renewable heating system helps Borders College exceed carbon management plan

Borders College have announced their new renewable heating system will push them over their target set in 2009 to reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent in 2015.

The eco-friendly renewable heat system from SHARC energy systems has given the college the final push they needed to reduce their carbon emissions as outlined in their carbon management plan.

Pete Smith, Vice Principal for finance and resources at Borders College explained that the heating system is just the latest part of the colleges on going goal to keep reducing their carbon footprint.

He said: “Around six and a half years ago when the college moved to this site a plan was drawn up with the aim to reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2015.

“We began the project with smaller easyish tasks like using energy efficient light bulbs. We also convert the waste cooking oil into biodiesel for fuel and we have solar panels in place to generate electricity.

“But we needed to install a renewable heat source and we looked into a range of different sources, we looked at biomass we looked at district heating.

“Then maybe two years ago we were put in touch with SHARC by Scottish Enterprise and it was one of those projects that seemed to make absolute sense.

“We couldn’t think why we wouldn’t go down that route because it offers us a renewable heat source, reduces our carbon footprint and saves us significant sums of money. It may save us close to half a million pounds over the span of our twenty year contract depending on the gas prices and the overall carbon savings we estimate to be around 140-170 tons per year.

“In terms of installation it’s been a long process but it’s been a good process.

“The SHARC team have worked very well with us on campus and now the system’s up and running it’s a relationship we hope to maintain.”

The college have exceeded their target by an extra 10 percent, meaning they have seen a 35 percent reduction since 2009.

Russ Burton, CEO of SHARC Energy Systems said: “We are delighted to see the first UK installation of the SHARC system up and running at Borders College.

“This has been an extremely important project for us in the UK and Europe, and we have seen a lot of interest in the system elsewhere.

“Scottish Water Horizons has played a key role in turning the project into a reality.”