Saughton Park in Edinburgh, Scotland has become the UK’s first fully eco-powered green space. The park uses micro-hydro technology on the Water of Leith – the city’s main river – generating electricity for all of the park’s needs. Micro-hydro is a type of hydroelectric power that typically produces from 5 kW to 100 kW of electricity using the natural flow of water. Saughton Park’s system uses a 10 meter long Archimedes Screw capable of generating 39Kw. The park also uses two ground source heat pump systems that provide heat for the park’s greenhouse, buildings, and café.
Councillor Donald Wilson, culture and communities convener, said: “What meets the eye in Edinburgh’s beautiful Saughton Park almost has to be seen to be believed but there is a lot more to it than that. It is green in more ways than one. The completion of this incredible project makes it the UK’s first eco-powered green space, proving that modern technology can be introduced to historic public parks.”
The system will prevent over 90 tons of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere each year. It is expected to save over £18,000 (~$22,000 US) each year in energy costs, which will be reinvested into the park.
The main funding for the park redevelopment came from the Heritage Fund, along with Sustrans, Scottish Energy Efficiency Program, Salix Finance, and Scottish Power’s Green Economy Fund.
“We created the Green Economy Fund to help communities build their own green economy and decarbonize infrastructure and Saughton Park is a great example of how that can be done. Decarbonization is more important than ever as we continue to drive a green recovery from the economic impact of Covid-19 and I’m very proud Saughton Park can now play its part to help achieve that ambition,” said Frank Mitchell, CEO at SP Energy Networks.”