SHARC Energy Systems has secured a £4million investment from Equitix and the UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) to finance the installation of the SHARC sewage heat recovery system under heat purchase agreements.
The Equitix managed fund Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which GIB is a cornerstone investor, is investing £2m in the programme and an additional £2m of private sector capital has been mobilised from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF). This is now being used to support the first project at Borders College and a pipeline of others being developed across Scotland. The first scheme will see waste water from Scottish Water’s network used for the heat recovery system.
Commenting on the deal, Russ Burton, CEO of SHARC Energy Systems, said: “We have worked closely with Equitix and their technical legal advisers to get them comfortable with the ability of the system to deliver the energy savings. The technical due diligence challenged every aspect of the system’s credentials and, although it was a stringent process to go through, the outcomes have reaffirmed the efficiency and opportunity our equipment presents for saving energy. “
He continued, “The funding now enables SHARC to move ahead with the flagship installation at Borders College which will involve a 20-year contract between the college and SHARC, making it the first organisation to adopt the world-leading technology in the UK. It also represents a major step forward in its heat production and energy efficiency targets for the entire campus.
Borders College, based in the south east of Scotland and with 5,500 students, has entered into a Heat Purchase Agreement with SHARC Energy Systems, which means the College will purchase their heat from SHARC at a discount to gas prices that will be sustained for an extended period. The system that has been designed for the College will deliver 95% of the College’s heat requirements.
SHARC Energy Systems has worked with Scottish Water to enable sewage to be intercepted from its network in the Galashiels area. The scheme has been developed in such a way as to not impact on the normal operation of the sewerage network and enable the downstream waste water treatment process to continue working effectively. Additional automatic monitoring has been built into the system by Scottish Water which, using its water resources, helps support the development of renewable energy, economic growth and sustainable technologies.
The SHARC sewage heat recovery system was introduced to the UK in June 2014 and is already installed in numerous locations across Canada and North America. Unique in the UK and Europe, the system generates energy-saving, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solutions for heating, cooling and hot water for commercial and residential buildings by extracting the heat from waste water and sewage. SHARC installs the equipment and then sells the energy back to the customer through heat purchase agreements.
Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Director, Equitix, said, “Equitix has developed a strong track record of investing in turnkey projects through our core infrastructure funds. We are very pleased to be building on our existing experience by investing into high quality and environmentally beneficial projects through our energy efficiency funds.”
Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman, UK Green Investment Bank, said, “Our 50th investment neatly sums up what we are trying to achieve at GIB. We are backing the deployment of innovative new technology across the UK to produce renewable energy, cut energy use, cut costs and improve the UK’s green performance.
“It is enabling SHARC Energy systems to equip Borders College with pioneering technology in an arrangement that I hope can be replicated elsewhere in the country.”
SHARC Energy Systems is now looking at further opportunities to invest in Scotland with plans to build a production facility, which will see the creation of new jobs.
Work on the installation of the system will start in later this month with the system providing heat energy to the College by the Summer.