NICOLA Sturgeon has officially opened a new £6 million renewable energy scheme providing low-cost heat from wastewater.

The Stirling District Heat Network is thought to be the first project of its kind in the UK and uses cutting-edge technologies to harness energy from wastewater from the city’s sewage works.

This power will be used to provide affordable, low-carbon heat to public buildings including The Peak Leisure Centre, St Modan’s High School and Stirling Albion FC’s ground, Forthbank Stadium. It will also be used to heat offices for organisations including Zero Waste Scotland and Volunteer Scotland.

The scheme is expected to save 381 tonnes of carbon a year, equivalent to 1.5m miles driven in an average petrol car or a passenger jet flying from Glasgow to Sydney 82 times. It was developed jointly between Stirling Council and Scottish Water Horizons, which invested £1m and £3m respectively.

A further £2m of cash came from the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme funded by the Scottish Government and European Union.

The First Minister officially opened the project while visiting Stirling as part of the 50th Travelling Cabinet ahead of the project’s switch-on next month.

Sturgeon said: “Earlier this year, Scotland became one of the first countries in the world to acknowledge the fact that we are facing a global climate emergency and it is only right that we take appropriate action – with all policies being re-examined to ensure they meet our climate ambitions.”