A spotlight on the Caird Park Low Carbon District Energy Hub in Dundee – ‘Carbon Reduction Award’ winner

Michael Watts, Strategic Sales Manager, highlights the winner of the latest ‘Scottish Energy Awards – Carbon Reduction Award’ sponsored by SmartestEnergy in his latest blog. He explores what the winner has achieved, as well as what’s on the horizon as they continue to strive to support wider net-zero carbon targets.

In wrapping up a year of green initiatives, SmartestEnergy sponsored the Carbon Reduction Award at the annual Scottish Renewables’ Scottish Green Energy Awards. Each year this award is given to those who have found new and innovative ways to address the issue of reducing carbon emissions.

The finalists for 2019 included:

  • Glenmorangie: For the management of by-products at their Dornoch Firth Distillery
  • Aberdeen City Council: For their event complex in Aberdeen
  • Dundee City Council: For their low Carbon District Energy Hub
  • Renewable Parts: For their wind power components refurbishment centre based in Lochgilphead

Whilst all were very worthy of their place on the shortlist, there could only be one winner – this latest award went to Dundee City Council, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and Balfour Beatty for their combined efforts on the Caird Park Low Carbon District Energy Hub.

What was significant about this project?
Between them, the three businesses are implementing a hybrid ground source heat pump powered by a range of renewable generation. Not only was this project a source of social good in reducing the emissions associated with heating, but the heat generated was also fed into a district network used to warm a significant amount of Dundee’s social housing.

On top of this, the Energy Hub is feeding into the redevelopment of the wider Caird Park site, whereby buildings will be upgraded to new levels of energy efficiency and have solar panels added to make the site truly sustainable.

This remains just one part of the wider effort though, with the original site offering facilities such as a golf course, a velodrome and athletics facilities. Dundee City Council will now take on the project of refurbishing the wider area, so as to create a new Regional Performance Centre for sports too.

It has been projected that by making these changes, the Energy Hub will be able to provide 100% of the site’s electricity needs, along with around 85% of its heating requirements – adding up to a minimum reduction of 536 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) per annum.

What does this mean for other businesses?
As a sponsor of this award, we hope to raise awareness about the importance of innovating to achieve net-zero. Carbon reduction is something every business needs to take seriously, if we are to achieve our ambitious 2050 net-zero carbon reduction targets. The holistic approach taken to developing the Carbon District Energy Hub in Dundee, is a great example of how environmental and social good can be achieved, and recognised, when multiple businesses work together to get the best results. And the best bit, their work is not done – they continue to set out parameters to continue innovating and considering other aspects of the site.

What net-zero goals are you setting in 2020 and beyond?
I challenge you to ask your businesses what targets they are setting to achieve net-zero, and consider as an individual what you can do to support you business and wider community in implementing socioenvironmental innovations to reduce carbon emissions, and you/your business could be up for an award just like this one!

If your business is considering a move to renewable energy or exploring options to help better balance and support the grid as the energy system becomes more decentralised, please connect with me to explore SmartestEnergy’s product and service offerings.

Interested in learning more? Explore our 'Aiming for net-zero' resources online

About the author


Michael joined SmartestEnergy in 2017 and is a key member of the I&C Supply team. He is primarily responsible for identifying and developing strategic sales opportunities and promoting SmartestEnergy’s products to I&C users. Before joining SmartestEnergy Michael held a similar role with ENGIE Energy Solutions. His career in the industry has also included positions with Haven Power, Shell Gas Direct and Gaz de France. Michael has an MA Business Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University, Toronto and a BA Economics from the University of Essex.

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