UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Sunday 23 June 2024
 11.7°C   SW Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

News / Taking the heat out of the sea

Discussing ways to expand the Lerwick district heating scheme are (from left): Star Renewable Energy director David Pearson, SHEAP manager Neville Martin and SHEAP board member Andrew Blackadder - Photo: Hans J Marter/ShetNews

HEAT from the sea could soon be used to help expand Lerwick’s innovative district heating scheme to meet growing demand from new customers.

Shetland Heat Energy and Power (SHEAP) is in discussions with a Glasgow-based heat pump manufacturer to extend the network that already supplies about half of Lerwick’s households and businesses’ heat demand.

Star Renewable Energy said heat pumps using sea water were proven technology with many environmental benefits.

SHEAP manager Neville Martin added that they could help the district heating scheme meet the urgent need for new capacity, which at peakloads exceeds the 6.3 megawatt output of the energy recovery plant run by Shetland Islands Council.

The plan is to extract sea water and cool it down from around eight to four degrees, harnessing enough energy to add a further 2MW in capacity.

Star Renewables director David Pearson said: ” We are an industrial refrigerating company, an expert in cooling things down by taking out the heat.

“Normally, like in fridges in people’s house, that heat is thrown away. What we are doing is capturing that heat and using it.

“It is a heat multiplier as we get three units of heat for every unit of electricity we consume, and that means that we can make heat cheaper and cleaner.”

The company’s uses ammonia as a natural refrigerant, a gas with no impact on global warming.

Martin said he was enthusiastic about the proposal, as it was the “most promising” option to further expand the district heating scheme while reducing its dependency on oil.

The company hopes to decide on the sea water project soon and if it proceeds complete it before the end of next year to take advantage of a generous government subsidy scheme.

“District heating is the most effective way of reducing carbon emissions and I think governments are slowly realising that,” Martin said.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

“The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), offering payments of 3.5 pence per unit, have turned things around and have made these projects more attractive.”

He added: ” There is a large demand for more connections, so we will be able to allow more people on to the network. That’s the main advantage. We have a large waiting list for a connection.

“It definitely is more green as it reduces our dependency on oil, and therefore also improves our viability.”

The company is currently talking to interested parties such as Lerwick Port Authority and Scottish & Southern Energy.

Heat pumps that abstract heat from the sea have been a tried and tested technology since at least the 1980s.

The Swedish capital of Stockholm currently operates the world’s largest sea water-based heat pump with a capacity of 180MWs.

Star Renewable Energy installed a 14 megawatt system for the Norwegian town of Drammen in 2011.

The Lerwick district heating scheme is the largest of its kind in Scotland.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 
Categories

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.