Further new renewable technology is being developed in Scotland with Borders based company Water Engine Technologies starting development on a unique water engine which will provide hydro-electric power to the local community.

Based at the former Caddonfoot Primary School in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders The company is working with several Borders communities with a view to making use of the watercourse infrastructure used so well by the local mills 100 years ago. The water engine is built next to the waterway, so no dam has to be built. It also creates high-pressure fluid which can be used in a number of other applications, such as water irrigation, water treatment and desalination using reverse osmotic filters.

The convener of Scottish Borders Council, Councillor Graham Garvie, visited the development to cut the first sod of the project. Euan Robson, chairman of Water Engine Technologies speaking at the event said: “We much appreciate Councillor Garvie’s personal interest in our unique device, the water engine, which can operate on a low and medium head of water. “We are also grateful to Scottish Borders Council and SEPA for granting the necessary permissions.”

Stan Johnston Water Engine Technologies’ CEO said: “Operating from our base at Caddonfoot, we aim to install a number of water engines in the Borders and further afield in Scotland in the next few months to deliver renewable electricity, both for our customer’s own use and to export to the grid. Beyond that, we see an export market for our machines.

“The water engine’s unique float and pressure technology means that it can operate efficiently in places where conventional water turbines and Archimedes screws cannot. “Also, it can be adapted to pump and clean water, which will have major benefits in overseas markets.”

Also in Scotland it was announced the University of St. Andrews have gone into partnership with Scot Heat & Power to supply the biomass fuel as part of their £25 million green energy project.

Scot Heat & Power will supply locally sourced wood to the Guardbridge Energy Centre – a biomass renewable development on the site of the former Curtis Fine Papers Mill – which is part of the University’s plan to become the first carbon neutral university in the UK.

The plant will use the wood to produce hot water which will be stored on site before being pumped to the university’s North Haugh Campus to heat and cool its academic, administration, and residential buildings.

The biomass facility, likely to be fully operational by 2017 will complement plans for a six-turbine wind power development on university land at Kenly, four miles east of St Andrews. Scot Heat & Power managing director Malcolm Snowie said: “In recognising the highly efficient renewable benefits of biomass energy, Scotland’s oldest university has now placed itself at the forefront of green energy innovation, allowing it to reap the rewards of lowered costs and heightened performance.

“It will also firmly place St Andrews in the driving seat as it looks to attain the status of first university to reach such an important accolade in future sustainability. “We are certain that the project will deliver a strong environmental return for decades to come, more than repaying the confidence that has been invested in it.”

Scotland is now becoming the go to area for new innovative renewable energy projects. Over the past months we have discussed new hydro schemes, local heat districts, energy storage and most recently, tidal power in which we are setting landmarks and quickly becoming the world leader. It cannot be a coincidence that we were pioneers in hydro-electric power post World War II, have a mature and established wind industry plus have a supportive government.

We believe that there will be many more renewable energy innovations and landmarks to come in the coming years and expect many of them to be based in Scotland. We have the natural resources, the infrastructure, the support, the knowledge, the man power and most importantly the desire to succeed.


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