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Frances Colliery Minewater Heat Recovery Scheme


Scottish Enterprise worked with Craighall Energy to appoint Zebec Biogas to undertake an options appraisal of the potential reuse of minewater and other renewable energy opportunities at the former Frances Colliery in Fife. It is hoped that the results of this study will have a wider interest for other former coalmining sites in Scotland, particularly those where minewater is being pumped to the surface to be treated before discharge.


This research was informed by an information review including previous studies, discussions with stakeholders and from detailed data on the minewater obtained from the Coal Authority.


The water temperature averages 14 degrees centigrade, averaging 122 litres per second. Water quality data is also provided. If the minewater is to be used for heat capture then it is recommended that an open system with water discharge is employed. Heat recovery options are discussed, with a single stage process recommended. The heat could be used for greenhouses and/ or new housing developments. There is also the potential to deploy ground mounted solar pv at the site. The minewater could be treated using high density sludge active treatment. Economic benefits, potential carbon savings and payback periods have been calculated. Some estimated costs prepared by the consultant have been redacted for commercial confidentiality reasons.


There are no specific recommendations. Instead the report is intended to enable Craighall Energy to determine whether to proceed with any projects at the site.

Author Zebec
Published Year 2022
Report Type Research
  • Sectors
  • Equity
    Sustainable development