Green light for new Queens Quay energy centre
A new energy centre at Queens Quay could start generating heat by Autumn 2018 after planning permission was granted for the development at the £250 million regeneration project on the site of the former John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank.
Construction of the energy centre for the District Heat Network will commence in quarter 1 2018. Set to serve the entire Queens Quay site and beyond, developers say the network will make Clydebank the greenest town in Scotland.
Queens Quay’s District Heat Network will be the largest and most ambitious in Scotland and will enable valuable energy, which is often wasted in power generation and industrial processes, to be captured and supplied to householders and businesses directly.
Up to 200 rented homes are being developed on the site by registered social landlords as well as 1000 private homes, and all will benefit from the new system. A number of public buildings would also receive their heating supply via this method, including West College Scotland, Clydebank’s new Leisure Centre, the new care home and health centre at the site, Council offices at Aurora House, the Titan Business Centre, the Town Hall and Clydebank Library.
The 100% carbon free system is designed on a modular basis to allow expansion, with the ability to include the nearby Golden Jubilee Hospital as well as the wider Clydebank area making the network effective and efficient from both technical and financial perspectives.
Within the energy centre water source heat pumps will extract water from the River Clyde, giving the system a direct link to natural resources. Additional piping will be located in the wider area to facilitate connections to new homes, as well as public buildings such as Clydebank College and Leisure Centre, and into the town centre.
The energy centre will also accommodate gas boilers, pressurisation units and distribution pumps together with a building control and management system to operate and monitor the system. This system is generally controlled remotely with no requirement for permanent staff. An on-site office and welfare facilities will be located on the mezzanine level.
Queens Quay is owned by Clydeside Regeneration Limited (CRL) with West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) part funding the development. Dawn Urban Regeneration Ltd is the development partner and is working in partnership with the council to deliver the energy centre and the wider development.
West Dunbartonshire Council will own, operate and maintain the entire heating system, ensuring security of supply and reduced tariffs for customers. The Scottish Government provided £6m of funding towards the system via its Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme with the council covering the remaining £6m.
Paul O’Donnell of Dawn Urban Regeneration Ltd said: “It is fantastic news that we’ve achieved planning permission for the Queens Quay Energy Centre, it is yet another piece of good news in the delivery of the project and promises a green future for Clydebank.
“The coming year will be very important for Queens Quay with the delivery of all infrastructure and the commencement of a number of other exciting developments.”
Councillor Iain McLaren, convener of infrastructure, regeneration and economic development at West Dunbartonshire Council, added: “So much work has gone into this project and today’s decision by the Planning Committee has helped it take yet another huge step forward. It won’t be long before we will see work on the energy centre getting started and it should then be in operation next year. Residents and businesses of Clydebank will benefit from this high-tech new system for years to come.”
Last month it was announced that civil engineering company George Leslie Ltd has been appointed to carry out all marine works associated with the basin and river frontage. The contractor will start work in January before construction of the new £15m care home commences in quarter 2 and the state-of-the-art £25m health centre in quarter 3.
The next stage of infrastructure works, involving the formation of a new access road and utilities connections, which will service the entire mixed-use site, will also commence in quarter 1 2018.
On completion of the care home and health centre, the housing, retail and leisure elements of the project will follow and will add to the existing facilities at Queens Quay, including West Dunbartonshire Council’s offices at Aurora House and a new £23.5m leisure centre which opened earlier this year.