A ground-breaking energy hub which will deliver low-carbon heat to a city community has been welcomed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

She toured the site at Stirling which harnesses energy from waste water through a mixture of cutting-edge technologies and is the first in the UK to deliver heat in this way.

The £6 million project is being delivered by Scottish Water Horizons in partnership with Stirling Council with additional funding provided by the Scottish Government.

The facility, at Forthside in Stirling, will deliver low-cost and low-carbon heat generated from waste water from the adjacent treatment works serving the city.

It is projected to save 381 tonnes of carbon per annum – the equivalent of 1.5 million miles driven in an average petrol car or a passenger jet flying from Glasgow to Sydney, Australia about 82 times (source https://climatecare.org/calculator/).

The Stirling District Heat Network will deliver low-carbon heat and energy cost savings to a number of key public buildings, including The Peak Leisure Centre, Forthbank Stadium, St Modan’s High School and organisations such as Zero Waste Scotland and Volunteer Scotland.

The First Minister visited the site as it enters final preparations for the big switch-on by early September.

She said: “Earlier this year Scotland became one of the first countries in the world to acknowledge the fact that we are facing a global climate emergency, and it is only right that we take appropriate action.

“I am proud of the bold, innovative and world-leading policies we are implementing to address the climate crisis we face.

“The Stirling District Heat Network project is a fantastic example of this, using waste water to help provide energy to local public buildings and businesses. It is a great demonstration of how we can work collaboratively to make a real difference.”

Representatives from Scottish Water, Scottish Water Horizons and Stirling Council welcomed Ms Sturgeon to Stirling Waste Water Treatment Works and hosted a tour of the newly-built energy centre.

The First Minister heard how the project will deliver a range of significant environmental and economic benefits with scope to expand the scheme further. Scottish Water Chief Executive Douglas Millican accompanied the First Minister on her tour of the facility.

He said: “Sustainability is vital for homes, businesses and services and using the energy from waste water is a great example of using resources to their maximum benefit. This new scheme in Stirling will go a long way towards helping reduce our carbon footprint and protecting the environment.”

Paul Kerr, Managing Director of Scottish Water Horizons, said: “We are very proud to have this project recognised by the First Minister for its contribution to reducing Scotland’s carbon footprint.

“Scottish Water Horizons is dedicated to supporting the Government in their ambitious carbon saving targets, utilising Scottish Water’s asset base to create a greener Scotland whilst reducing costs for our customers.”

Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Scott Farmer, said: “Making Stirling the first place in the UK to harness this mix of cutting-edge renewable technologies shows Stirling Council is determined to lead the way on tackling climate change by reducing our carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency.

Stirling-based building services company FES is delivering the project on behalf of Scottish Water Horizons and Stirling Council.