Project lead: Linlithgow Natural Grid
Location: West Lothian
Local Energy Challenge Fund award amount: £25,000 (feasibility study)

Project vision and aims

Linlithgow Natural Grid Ltd (LNG) brought together community, council, business and academia with the aim of obtaining greater energy independence for Linlithgow. The ‘Heat from the Street’ project was developed by LNG and aimed to capture heat from the wastewater flowing beneath Linlithgow’s streets by using a ‘SHARC’ wastewater heat recovery system.

The innovative, but tried and tested, ‘SHARC’ heat recovery system, would be powered by solar panels situated on the roof of adjacent flats. The system would capture the heat from the wastewater flow to provide heat for a mini district heating network. The heating network would service a cluster of energy-intensive public buildings in the town centre to create the Linlithgow Energy Corridor, enabling local energy to remain local. Avoiding the national grid would provide a win-win for producers and consumers alike. The project aimed to prove that Heat from the Street can out-compete the economics of conventional natural gas, because the cheapest energy of all is energy saved.

The first users connected to the scheme were expected to be Low Port Primary School, St Michael’s Church, and Historic Scotland. By reducing the organisations’ energy costs, resources could potentially be freed up so they could better serve their constituents.

If the first phase of the project was successful, LNG aimed to expand the overall benefits of the scheme to supply heat to the high street’s residents and businesses.

“While everyone’s attention is on renewable energy, Linlithgow Natural Grid aims to achieve energy independence for Linlithgow through mobilising the cheapest energy of all – energy saved. LNG’s ‘Heat from the Street’ project will reduce Linlithgow gas bills by harvesting both solar energy and heat from the wastewater beneath the streets of Linlithgow.” – Chris Cook- Director, Linlithgow Natural Grid Ltd

Conclusions

The study concluded that:

  • ‘Heat from the Street’ is a viable project, technically and funding-wise.
  • Detailed design and planning in the first six months of Phase two would confirm whether the conclusions of the feasibility studies are sufficiently robust.
  • The bid was strengthened by the high level of local support and multi-agency buy-in.

Read the project information sheet, and final report.