A Scottish waste-to-power project is planned to supply district heating to the city of Edinburgh and the surrounding Midlothian council area.
The £144 million ($224 million) project, which was granted planning permission this week, is expected to power up to 30,000 homes as well as supplying heat for a future district heating scheme set to include the £200 million Shawfair development (pictured), a new town being built outside Edinburgh.
The recycling and heat-and-power plant is to be built on a former railway yard. It will be operated by Spanish firm FCC Medio Ambiente and will treat waste that currently goes to landfill.
While some local officials have argued that the plant will do little to encourage local recycling and could even lock the region into producing high amounts of waste in order to fuel the district heating scheme, Councillor Jim Bryant, Midlothian Council cabinet member for economic development, said: ‘This decision … represents the chance to turn a derelict, brownfield site into a valuable energy production centre.
‘A district heating network could bring economic benefits to the many exciting developments that are transforming the Shawfair area and beyond, as well as attracting other innovative projects and employment opportunities,’ he added.