Almost £0.5m from the Scottish Power Energy Networks Green Economy Fund has been awarded toward the delivery of the hydroelectric scheme on the Water of Leith. The Archimedes screw turbine on an existing weir will power two ground-source heat pumps and generate energy.
As well as saving on energy costs, it will help lower carbon emissions by providing a renewable energy solution in the park.
Councillor Karen Doran said: “This is fantastic news and a real boost to what is already a landmark project to revamp this historic park. Aside from the environmental, educational and social benefits the restoration and development of Saughton Park and its buildings will bring to the community and further afield, this innovative micro-hydro scheme will have an additional impact on reducing our carbon footprint.”
Shona Nelson, Chair of the Friends of Saughton Park, added: “”The fact that the park will be showcasing the use of renewable energy will, we hope, engage the many local children who are already enjoying our new facilities.”
Most of Saughton Park was reopened to the public in October. Work is still under way to restore some of the Edwardian park’s key features, such as the refurbishment of the Winter Garden, the botanical gardens and stable block, in addition to the construction of a new café. This is expected to be complete in January 2019.
Work on the micro hydro-electric scheme is expected to begin in March.