Borders College

SHARC Energy Systems helps Borders College win prestigious industry award

Borders College has scooped a top award at in the coveted Green Gown Awards for its flagship installation of SHARC Energy Systems’ revolutionary heat recovery system.

The awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges.

The Best Newcomer Award was won for the work Borders College did alongside SHARC and Scottish Water Horizons.


Left to right Robert Hewitt (Borders College), Russ Burton (SHARC Energy Systems), Donald MacBrayne (Scottish Water Horizons), Ian Dunsmore (Scottish Water Horizons), Laura Bishop (SHARC Energy Systems), Lynn Mueller (SHARC Energy Systems), Joe Short (SHARC Energy Systems), Pete Smith (Borders College - holding award), Nathan Burton (SHARC Energy Systems).

In December 2015, Borders College in Galashiels, Scotland, became the first organisation in the UK to benefit from a waste water heat recovery system.

Backed by investment from Equitix and the UK Green Investment Bank, the SHARC heat recovery system intercepts waste water from the adjacent town sewer line operated by Scottish Water.

The technology extracts the natural warmth contained within this water and transfers the heat to the clean side of the heating system via a heat exchange mechanism. The recovered heat is then amplified via heat pumps to generate the appropriate temperatures for use in buildings. The heat produced is being sold to Borders College under a 20-year purchase agreement, producing savings in energy, costs and carbon emissions.

The system now provides around 95 per cent of the heat needed by the Galashiels campus and does not impact on the normal operation of the local waste water network.

Russ Burton, Chief Operating Officer of SHARC Energy Systems, said: “We are delighted to have won this award alongside Borders College and Scottish Water Horizons.

“This is a great example of how strong relationships, shared vision and great working partnerships can come together to make a significant impact for all of the parties involved.

“We are really looking forward to helping the college achieve their next level in carbon reduction activity over the next two years.”

Pete Smith, Vice Principal, Finance and Resources, at Borders College, said:
“The College is absolutely delighted to be recognised as a finalist in the Green Gown Awards, but to win the Best Newcomer Award for our SHARC project is absolutely fabulous.

“It shows what a small institution can achieve when working in partnership with like-minded organisations, benefitting not only the institution itself but society more widely.”

Scottish Water Horizons, a subsidiary of the public utility, supports the development of a sustainable economy in Scotland and played a key role in turning the project into reality.

Scottish Water Horizons’ Business Development Manager, Donald MacBrayne, said: “We are delighted to have played a part in this winning project, contributing to significant cost and carbon savings for the college and bringing with it wider environmental benefits.
“The Borders College installation is just the beginning for heat from waste water schemes in Scotland and, working alongside SHARC Energy Systems, we are actively rolling out more of these innovative projects, with several scheduled for completion next year.”

Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges. With sustainability moving up on the agenda, the Awards have become established as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the further and higher education sector.

Find out more by watching the Project SHARC video.

Published: Mon 20th Nov, 2017