North East Scotland College connected to Aberdeen Heat & Power’s district heating network on 2 December, bringing to a successful conclusion a major construction project which began in February.

Under the contract with AH&P’s commercial division DEAL (District Energy Aberdeen Ltd), both heat and hot water will be delivered to the Aberdeen City Campus in a deal worth £1 million.

AH&P CEO Ian Davidson said: ‘Despite the constraints we’ve faced this year, we have delivered this major project on time and on budget.’

Taking the service to NESCol involved extending the existing network from West North Street to the college’s Spring Garden entrance, and Mr Davidson commended his contractors.

‘Both Nicol of Skene and Heat Tech have gone above and beyond to ensure we have been able to connect as scheduled, and we our thanks go to them for completing the work within very challenging Covid-19 workplace restrictions.’

He added: ‘This connection will lead to a significant reduction in carbon emissions while delivering the college a competitively-priced, energy-efficient tariff.’

NESCol Principal Neil Cowie said: ‘Adopting innovative solutions to reduce our carbon footprint is an important element of North East Scotland College’s ongoing commitment to increasing sustainability.

‘We are already playing a lead role — not only regionally but nationally — and this partnership with Aberdeen Heat & Power will make a significant contribution towards our aim of reducing carbon emissions and our impact on the environment.

‘We are proud to have delivered one of the largest reductions in carbon emissions across Scotland’s further and higher education sector in recent years and are enthusiastic about innovative opportunities that will allow us to continue this work.

‘For our students, staff, and the communities we serve it is vital that we keep sustainability at the top of the agenda, and we are doing that through a range of exciting initiatives.’

The next phase will see a new combined heat and power (CHP) plant built on the Gallowgate campus which will allow AH&P to extend the City Centre District Heating System further into the city.

Mr Davidson added: ‘CHP systems are highly efficient, making use of the heat which would otherwise be wasted when generating electrical or mechanical power, and locating a new plant here would allow us to take our service to more customers, both commercial and domestic.

‘Our eventual aim is to create a fully integrated city-wide district heating system.’

The city centre network is currently supplied by the energy centres at Seaton and within the Lynx Ice Arena, with a heat capacity of 16.5Mwh.

DEAL was established in 2013 as a wholly-owned AH&P subsidiary to enable commercial customers to join the network. All profits made are collected by not-for-profit AH&P and channelled back into the network to maintain low energy tariffs for the core domestic market and further the aims of reducing fuel poverty.

Existing customers are Aberdeen Sports Village, including the Aquatic Centre, Frederick Street Health Clinic, St George Church, Aberdeen Lads Club and Aberdeen Science Centre. Also connected through AH&P are city council-owned Marischal College and the Beach Ballroom, and Sport Aberdeen’s entire Beach Leisure Centre complex, as well as a further 21 non-residential and 3,500 residential properties.