£8.9m for Torry heat network in Aberdeen 

Almost 300 homes, a local school and other community buildings in Torry will benefit from low-cost heat and energy in scheme funded by the Scottish government. 

We’re hearing a lot at the moment about heat networks, in which several homes or businesses in a community receive heat and energy from a single, shared source. Last week, we reported on the ‘Heatropolis’ project in central London that hopes to be a blueprint for others to follow. Now Aberdeen is getting in on the act.

Girdle Ness Lighthouse near Torry, photo by David Mackay

The benefits of a heat network are quickly evident: they provide savings for consumers and reduce emissions of greenhouse gas. In fact, the heat network approved for the Torry area of Aberdeen will recycle energy produced by the new East Tullos waste plant that is set to dispose of non-recyclable waste received from local Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray Councils. Construction work on the waste plant will include a new heat distribution facility. 

Among the buildings to be connected to the network are Tullos Primary School, Provost Hogg Court sheltered housing, Balnagask House care home, Deeside family centre, the social work office in Torry, 146 flats in three high-rise blocks and some 150 other residential properties. 

The project will involve installing some 6km (3.7 miles) of underground pipes, as well as new internal supply pipes and metering and other work to the interior of buildings.  

To connect to the existing heat network in Torry, a spine of pipes from the heat distribution facility will be routed underneath the Aberdeen-to-Dundee railway line. Vital Energi is the main contractor for the work and will carry out local stakeholder engagement. It has also appointed Barhale as the specialist design and build under-track crossing contractor.  

Cllr Christian Allard, Co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, says: ‘We welcome the Heat Network Fund grant towards the new Torry heat network as the project will bring low-cost heat to tenants’ homes and public buildings. The network will help people with fuel poverty providing them with the low-cost energy that they need in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.’ 

Patrick Harvie, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, adds: ‘Heat networks or communal heat systems will have a growing role in helping us move away from fossil fuel heating by 2045 whilst reducing fuel poverty by supplying heat at affordable prices to consumers. The Torry Heat Network shows the potential for decarbonising existing urban buildings, including hard-to-treat granite tenements. 

‘We believe we can meet up to 30% of our overall heat demand from heat networks, which is why our Heat in Buildings consultation includes measures to encourage their growth, giving developers and local authorities the confidence to invest on the basis that they know the demand will be there.’ 

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