Midlothian Council announced on 11 February that it has appointed Vattenfall as the preferred bidder to become its energy partner.
Swedish state-owned energy company will work with the council to set up a new Energy Services Company (ESCo). This 50/50 joint venture will focus on delivering a wide range of energy projects across the area.
The first project will be a £20mn low carbon district heating network in the new Shawfair town on the outskirts of Edinburgh. The proposed development plans for Shawfair are 4,000 homes, businesses, retail outlets, a new town centre and a railway station.
The heat network will benefit from heat supplied by an energy from waste facility near Millerhill. The project is expected to save over 2,000 tonnes of CO2 per year – the equivalent of taking 1,200 petrol/diesel cars off the road. Midlothian Council aims to sign a 40-year agreement with the ESCo to supply heat to the new public buildings in the town.
In the future, the ESCo could expand the district heating network into areas of East Lothian and Edinburgh. Working with the Coal Authority, the potential of using the Monktonhall Colliery for heat storage and supply will be investigated. The ESCo may also be asked to consider solar PV, electric vehicle charging and direct wire electricity supplies to commercial properties.
The ESCo’s projects to are anticipated to deliver £100mn of value over its lifetime.