Caol District Heating Scheme

Project lead: The Highland Council

Award amount: £23,999

Area: Highland

View the project report


The project will provide low carbon heating with fixed fuel supply costs to an area of the Highlands that is off gas grid and suffers high levels of fuel poverty.

It is hoped that a wider understanding is gained of the issues associated with engaging with communities during district heating development and that an innovative process  and business model can be developed and replicated through the varying communities within Highland.


Project summary

Caol represents an ideal scenario for District Heating, as the town area is  well defined and reasonably concentrated. There are plans for two new schools, each of which could  host an energy centre on campus. From here, underground pipework would serve the schools and all council owned houses in the area. Private householders would have the opportunity to connect to the system. The target area is located on the shore of Loch Linnhe and the scheme
could be run from a  water source heat pump or from biomass boilers located at the schools. The agreed scope of works

for this proposal is for a District Heating System that will serve 296 social housing properties along with two planned new schools and a community centre in the Caol area of Fort William.

To achieve best value and complement these works, it is intended that a community engagement programme should run alongside the entire project with events such as workshops and project information events.

It is intended that the experience and knowledge gained from this project will refine and improve the specifications of future projects.