Saughton Park in Edinburgh has become the ‘UK’s first fully eco-powered green space’.
A new micro-hydro scheme which has been deployed in the park allows the water from the main river flowing through Edinburgh, Water of Leith, to generate electricity for all the park’s needs.
The project also includes the running of two ground source heat pump systems, which provide heat for the park’s glasshouse, buildings and the café.
The combination of the micro-hydro scheme and the heat pumps allows the park to decarbonise its energy demand while saving more than 90 tonnes of carbon dioxide and almost £18,000 on its energy bills.
The project was awarded almost £500,000 from the distribution arm of ScottishPower, SP Energy Networks’ £20million Green Economy Fund.
Climate Change Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham said: “This innovative collaboration which received £180,000 from our Energy Efficient Scotland programme, demonstrates how public parks can be transformed into renewable energy hubs, supplying reliable and sustainable heat and electricity to local communities.”
Frank Mitchell, CEO at SP Energy Networks, said: “This project not only provides cleaner air for local people in Edinburgh, it also leads the way for other green spaces around the world which can use it as a blueprint for success.”