Building work begins at Clyde Gateway in major step forward for SHARC Energy Systems

Posted: Thursday 4th October 2018

Construction work has started at Clyde Gateway in an important step forward for SHARC Energy Systems, to demonstrate the use of its technology as a green solution that could help meet the growing appetite for district heating in the UK.

The UK renewable energy firm will use its innovative wastewater heat recovery technology to generate the heating and cooling services for the site, in Glasgow, providing an initial 2MW of capacity, with room to expand further as the development grows.

In addition, SHARC will be integrating Solar PV, Battery Storage, Micro CHP and thermal stores to the project to help reduce the system’s reliance on grid electricity and demonstrate how by integrating technologies, heat pump systems can be an efficient alternative to the traditional combustion-based heating model currently in use.

While SHARC’S system uses electricity to operate and generate heat, its idea to integrate on-site power generation means the system will also create its own electricity. This means it is able to sell any surplus back to the grid. Also, by integrating battery and thermal storage technologies on site, SHARC will be able to avoid buying grid electricity during peak periods, when the price is highest.

To get to this point has required high-level collaboration between the Clyde Gateway development company, SHARC Energy Systems, Scottish Water Horizons – a wholly owned commercial subsidiary of Scottish Water – and Andrew Muirhead Leather – the anchor customer for SHARC’s heating supply.

Andrew Muirhead Leather is also keen to explore further innovation for the development, including researching the use of the oil bi-product from its production process which can be filtered to create a biofuel source for the onsite CHP enabling a fully circular waste-to-energy solution for the scheme.

To get the development off the ground, SHARC secured initial funding of £3.7 million, with repayable assistance from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP), supported by the 2014-2020 European Regional Development Fund programmes, matched by commercial loans and investments from the Energy Saving Trust, Clyde Gateway and SHARC International (the Canadian parent company of the UK firm).

Regeneration agency Clyde Gateway is working with SHARC Energy Systems after the UK firm, which is based in Glasgow and Newark in Nottinghamshire, demonstrated the benefits of its proprietary heating and cooling technology.

SHARC has a working agreement with Scottish Water Horizons enabling it to tap in to the utility’s nearby sewers.

SHARC’s technology extracts the natural warmth contained within this water and transfers the heat to the clean side of the heating system via a heat exchange mechanism. The recovered heat is then amplified via heat pumps to generate the appropriate temperatures for use in all types of buildings.

SHARC provides heating and cooling to customers through a heat supply agreement. This works like that of any energy supplier, with the main advantages including no up-front costs and competitive prices capped for the length of the agreement.

Additional benefits include reduced carbon emissions and protection against energy shortages as wastewater is an inexhaustible resource.

SHARC will build its specialist energy centres on the Clyde Gateway site, manned by staff who monitor and maintain all the SHARC units required to serve the site, enabling occupiers to have direct contact with their energy provider.

Russ Burton, the Chief Operating Officer of SHARC Energy Systems, said: “Having arrived at a site start position is great testament to the hard work and dedication of all the SHARC staff, supplier partners and wider stakeholders involved in this very exciting scheme. The opportunity to create another first for the UK is really exciting and ensures that our business remains on the leading edge of the energy transition process now underway across the UK.

“This project will enable us to further demonstrate our contribution to the Scottish Government’s ambitious and exciting energy decarbonisation and transition strategy, aimed at developing a low carbon economy for Scotland, but also reinforces our credentials as an innovative and competitive provider in the developing district heating market across the UK – which is encouraging others to consider our solution.”

Ian Manson, the Chief Executive of Clyde Gateway, said: “Clyde Gateway has a commitment to delivering low carbon energy solutions that will benefit our local communities and businesses who are located here, so getting this innovative project under way is great news for the area.

“SHARC Energy Systems will use a significant waste water resource, located right in the heart of our regeneration area, to heat and cool buildings, which will have significant benefits in terms of energy and cost savings.”

Paul Kerr, Head of Scottish Water Horizons, said: “By facilitating access to Scottish Water’s vast wastewater network, we are thrilled to be able to support the delivery of low-carbon heat to the Clyde Gateway site – Scotland’s largest regeneration project.

“With heat accounting for more than 50 per cent of Scotland’s total energy use, it has never been more important to explore low-carbon, sustainable solutions to support our economy and protect our environment.

“We are excited to be working with SHARC Energy Systems to capture the residual heat found in wastewater and explore future opportunities for this innovative technology across Scotland.”

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April 2021

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