Council set to award environmentally friendly heat network contract for Granton Waterfront regeneration

Artist's impression of Granton following regeneration

The creation of a £1.3bn well-connected, sustainable new coastal town at Granton Waterfront in Edinburgh has reached yet another major milestone.

A contract for pre-development work to refine and finalise the design of a sewer source low carbon heat network solution to serve thousands of homes, local facilities and the many other commercial and social enterprise businesses planned for Granton Waterfront is set to be awarded by the City of Edinburgh Council in the coming weeks. Following a competitive procurement process Vattenfall Heat UK Ltd is being proposed as the preferred bidder and the Finance and Resources Committee will consider a report on the award of this contract at its meeting on Tuesday next week. It is anticipated the contract will be signed by both parties in the coming weeks.

The energy company, known for its work supporting many areas throughout the UK find net zero solutions, will work with the Council to finalise the plans for this heat network. The aim, subject to future further approval from the Finance and Resources Committee, is for an agreement for the company to build, operate, finance, manage and maintain the network over the following 40 years. This is a significant milestone for the Council and the Granton Waterfront area to help Edinburgh reach net zero by 2030.

As well as supporting the Council’s commitment to build new affordable homes over the next 10 years, the Granton Waterfront £1.3bn regeneration project has exemplar urban design which will also champion low carbon transport and active travel.

Council Leader Cammy Day said:

It is fantastic to see work continuing at pace at Granton Waterfront, the largest sustainable regeneration project of its kind in Scotland. As well as helping the Capital reach net zero by 2030, awarding this contract is the next step towards finalising the right heat network solution for our tenants and others moving into the area to provide them with a cost competitive low carbon heating source. The homes being delivered in the area are being designed to be well insulated and energy efficient which will also be a huge benefit to everyone living there, particularly those facing fuel poverty.

Work is also continuing to transform the iconic gasholder in the area into a place for the wider community and visitors to play and relax. Arts and social enterprise charity WASPS has moved into the eye catching former Granton Station building now refurbished and taking pride of place at the heart of the community, with a spacious attractive public square. And we’re currently building hundreds of energy efficient affordable homes which will be ready for tenants to move into next year.

Eoghan Maguire, Director of Heat Networks - Scotland at Vattenfall Heat UK said:

Granton Waterfront is an ambitious long-term project that will act as a blueprint in urban development and regeneration in Scotland. District heating will enable the Granton Waterfront development to deliver on its pioneering and climate conscious ambitions for its residents.

Vattenfall has responded to the low carbon district heating proposals for Granton Waterfront and is proud that these have been recommended for approval by the City of Edinburgh Council. We are excited to work with the City of Edinburgh and its partners to help deliver on the city's net zero by 2030 targets.

The Granton Waterfront heat network aims to capture heat that would otherwise be wasted from the sewer system and could serve the community of 3,000 new homes, as well as existing buildings. The network will adopt a future proofed design, meaning expansion to the northwest of Edinburgh would be possible.

Further information

Just three miles north of Edinburgh’s City Centre, Granton Waterfront has a rich industrial history and maritime heritage. With outstanding views across the Firth of Forth, Granton Waterfront sits in a ‘necklace’ of coastal communities from Cramond in the West to Portobello in the East. Granton is one of Scotland’s largest brownfield sites and one of its most dramatic urban coastal green spaces. It presents an opportunity to spearhead the city’s response to the climate emergency, with an ambitious vision that can truly change the way people go about their daily lives.

Scotland’s ambitions to tackle climate change and transition to a net-zero-carbon economy are fundamental to the Granton Waterfront vision. With six public sector partners including two major national institutions, it is a unique collaborative venture. All are committed to maximising every opportunity to ensure the economic benefits of the development are shared fairly throughout the community.

Together, our aim is to ensure the local economy grows in an inclusive, resilient and considerate way - one which has people’s health, happiness, and wellbeing at its core. Granton Waterfront will be the blueprint project for Scotland in urban development and regeneration.

Published: November 16th 2023