A swimming pool in Argyll & Bute is at the forefront of a renewable energy revolution which creates heat from waste water.
In the first project to be delivered by a new joint venture between Scottish Water Horizons and SHARC Energy Systems and one of the first of its kind in the UK, Campbeltown’s Aqualibrium leisure centre will be heated by the use of ground-breaking technology which places a focus on sustainability.
The centre and swimming pool is operated by Argyll & Bute Council and the £1 million project will meet 95% of the facility’s heating needs and use just 25% of the energy it currently takes to heat it with gas.
The state of the art installation will intercept waste water from Scottish Water’s adjacent Kinloch Park Pumping Station. The technology will extract the naturally occurring residual heat, amplify it and transfer it to the clean water network to provide heating to the leisure centre.
The new heat recovery system will be integrated into the council’s existing heating infrastructure.
The low-carbon, sustainable and environmentally-friendly energy system will heat the 25-metre swimming pool, fitness suite, steam room, sauna and library in the centre.
Expected to be completed by November, Aqualibrium is the first project to be delivered by the new joint venture between Scottish Water Horizons, a subsidiary of Scottish Water, and sustainable energy firm SHARC Energy Systems. The joint venture was announced last month and aims to expand and accelerate waste water heat recovery systems across the country.
A short film explaining the technology
The Campbeltown project is being funded by Scottish Water Horizons and the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP).
Donald MacBrayne, Scottish Water Horizons business development manager, said: “We are actively exploring ways in which we can utilise Scottish Water assets to facilitate green technology and through the joint venture with SHARC Energy Systems delivering heat from waste water systems and the fantastic low-carbon benefits which are generated.
“We are thrilled that after months of hard work and the launch of the joint venture we are able to bring the Campbeltown project to life. Once complete, the Aqualibrium Centre will benefit from significant carbon savings, helping Argyll & Bute Council meet their carbon reduction targets and lower their heat costs.
“Every day Scottish Water treats 945 million litres of waste water. It’s a valuable resource that we can tap into to support Scottish Government in their ambitious decarbonisation targets.”
Russ Burton, chief operating officer of SHARC Energy Systems, said: “The Aqualibrium project is a significant step for the joint venture and SHARC, demonstrating how our technology provides a real, sustainable and renewable alternative heat service to customers in rural communities as well as urban centres.
“We have long thought that leisure centres are a great opportunity for SHARC and heat pump technology and we look forward to working with Argyll and Bute council to make this scheme as successful as our first installation at Borders College in Galashiels.”
This expansion of the heat from waste water programme comes three years after the successful delivery of the UK’s inaugural Sewage Heat Recovery system at Borders College in Galashiels. The award-winning project was developed and installed by SHARC and facilitated by Scottish Water Horizons.
The work also builds on Scottish Water’s £23m environmental improvement scheme in Campbeltown in 2012, which delivered a state-of-the-art waste water system and key infrastructure upgrade in the town.