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Published 25 November 2016

Ambitious plans to use water from the River Clyde to heat homes and businesses in Clydebank have taken a step forward.

West Dunbartonshire Council has agreed the next step in securing funding for a £12million new high-tech heating system for the town’s Queens Quay area.

The development would see water extracted from the River Clyde through heat pumps and directed to businesses and homes via insulated pipes to be used for heating.

The heating system will also make a major contribution towards the Council’s climate change targets to reduce CO2 emissions by 15% over the next 7 years.

The Council will pay £6m, 50% of the cost of the District Heating Network (DHN) and apply for match funding via the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme.  In addition, the Council project will receive up to 20 years of financial support from the Energy Trust’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Fund.

A new purpose built energy centre will be created at Queens Quay by February 2018 and the pipework for the heating network will be installed in 2017.

Up to 200 rented homes are being developed on the site by registered social landlords as well as 1,000 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, the Council’s offices at Aurora House, Titan Business Centre, the Town Hall and Clydebank Library.

Councillor Patrick McGlinchey, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “I am delighted this project has been approved as it is a significant step forward for the Council, residents and the environment.

“The Council will lead the Municipal Energy Supply Company which will support the project giving us the opportunity to not only generate an income, but to further expand the scheme throughout  Clydebank.  This is also great news for our residents as it will allow the Council to offer residents a reduced tariff for their heating supply and in return help residents who may be facing fuel poverty.”

Councillor McBride, Vice-Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development added: "This is a major development for the Council and one that will benefit businesses and residents for generations to come.  The system has been designed to not only serve the developments at Queens Quay but has the potential to serve businesses and houses further afield. As a Council we are committed to delivering affordable housing to our residents and this district heating network will also help us provide affordable energy for residents in the heart of Clydebank and beyond. "

The Council will find out in February next year if it has been successful in the next round of funding by the LCITP.