Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Hydro-electric scheme to power Saughton Park

Archimedes Screw Turbine - artist impression Image copyright City of Edinburgh Council
Image caption An artist's impression shows how the hydro-electric scheme will look

Work has started to build a micro hydro-electric system on the Water of Leith in Edinburgh.

An Archimedes Screw Turbine will power two ground-source heat pumps and generate energy for lighting and buildings at the nearby Saughton Park.

It is being installed on an existing weir and was funded with almost £500,000 from SP Energy Networks.

The project is part of the Saughton Park restoration which is costing £8m.

The 10m (33ft) long, 10-tonne structure will prevent more than 90 tonnes of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere each year.

Carbon footprint

Lesley Macinnes, City of Edinburgh Council's transport and environment convener, said: "What a great moment for Saughton Park and for Edinburgh as a whole.

"This micro-hydro scheme and new ground-source heating installation will cut more than 90 tonnes of CO2 emissions, making Saughton our first totally 'green' park.

"The terrifying truth about climate change is hitting home harder than ever now all over the world.

"Here in Edinburgh we are considering a very ambitious carbon neutral target as part of our sustainability strategy for the capital.

"By harnessing clean energy in one of our premier parks, we are clearly demonstrating our commitment to cutting carbon emissions.

Shona Nelson, chairwoman of the Friends of Saughton Park, added: "The micro-hydro is the last piece of the jigsaw in the re-development of Saughton Park and we think it will really put the park on the map."

Most of Saughton Park was reopened to the public in October, including new fully-accessible playpark, a multi-use games area designed to suit roller hockey and basketball and landscaped grounds.

Work is still under way to restore some of the Edwardian park's key features, such as the refurbishment of the winter garden, the botanical gardens and stable block, in addition to the construction of a new cafe. This is expected to be completed in June.

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