St. Modan’s High School will receive top marks for using low cost, low carbon energy after enrolling in Stirling’s pioneering district heating network.
St. Modan's heating

The school was identified as one of Stirling Council’s highest energy consumers in the surrounding area, given its size and function, but will now benefit from reduced carbon emissions and provide cost savings through connection to the ground-breaking district heating network.

St. Modan’s started receiving heat from the facility in Forthside for the return of children and young people to in-school education on August 12th. The network provides added heating resilience to the school, with the existing gas fired boilers currently still in place as back-up.

School warms to ground-breaking technology

Convener of Stirling Council’s Environment and Housing Committee, Councillor Jim Thomson, said: “We are extremely proud of the way this pioneering project is helping to provide energy to local public buildings and businesses in Stirling.

“The ground-breaking technology being harnessed to heat St. Modan’s High School showcases the way Stirling is leading the way in a new era of heating. By recovering waste heat from the water treatment process, we are helping to reduce the environmental impact on both the Stirling area and Scotland as a whole through fewer carbon emissions.”

Stirling’s district heating network is the first in the UK to use a mix of cutting-edge renewable technologies to harness energy from waste water. The project delivers cheap, low carbon heat to the city and provides a range of significant environmental and economic benefits. 

The £6 million project was delivered by Stirling Council in partnership with Scottish Water Horizons, with support from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP).

Turning up the heat in Stirling

Stirling Council owns and operates the district heating network, which will also deliver low carbon and energy cost savings heat to a number of key public buildings, including The Peak Leisure Centre, the Barracks Conference Centre, and organisations such as Zero Waste Scotland and Volunteer Scotland.

Vice Convener, Councillor Danny Gibson, said: “As a Council we have reduced our carbon footprint in a range of ways and the ground-breaking technology that is being used to heat St. Modan’s High School is further evidence of the major progress we have made in sustainability.

“As the first of its kind in the UK, the project has made Stirling the home of a new era in heating. It will deliver not only reduced carbon and energy costs for Stirling Council and end-users, it will also generate additional future income and provide employment opportunities through jobs in the growing renewables sector.”

Partnership working delivers sustainable solutions

Scottish Water Horizons, a commercial subsidiary of Scottish Water, owns and operates the energy centre, located at the existing Stirling Waste Water Treatment Works in Forthside.

There is also scope for the network to also be expanded across the city to include homes, helping tackle the Climate Emergency by reducing fuel poverty and providing savings for local businesses.

Scottish Water Horizons Managing Director, Paul Kerr, said:  “I’m delighted that St Modan’s high school is now connected to an affordable and sustainable source of green heat.

“Heat accounts for over half of the energy we consume in Scotland and it’s vital that we consider new ways to generate and transport it.  Extracting value from waste water provides a significant source of low carbon heat that is normally flushed away.

“Collaboration is fundamental to making this work. The district heating scheme at Stirling is a perfect example of how joint working can result in a sustainable solution that will benefit the local community both now and in the future.”

Harnessing energy from waste water

Stirling Gateway operates PPP schools on behalf of Stirling Council and is responsible for the ongoing operation, maintenance and facilities management.

Stirling Gateway Director David Spiller said: “The company is delighted to play a part in this ambitious project that converts waste-water heat into useful and usable energy, for the supply of seasonal heating and hot water to St Modan’s High School. 

“Stirling Gateway has ongoing, challenging energy targets to achieve at the Stirling PPP Schools and this additional utility supply at St Modan’s will provide us with energy supply flexibility which, in turn, delivers financial benefits to the Council and environmental benefits to the wider community, for the foreseeable future.”