Scottish Canals is celebrating 20 years of transforming the Forth & Clyde Canal for the 21st century.

Scottish Canals, the custodians of the nation’s canal network, has announced plans to reach net zero by 2030.

The Non-Departmental Public Body today announced £250,000 of green investment into the world’s only fully rotating boatlift, The Falkirk Wheel which welcomes over 500,000 visits per year. This will see 85 new solar panels installed, generating up to 18,000kWh per annum, saving the equivalent of 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. The latest investment at Falkirk Wheel adds to the energy efficient structure which requires the electrical equivalent of boiling 8 kettles to turn the 1,800-tonne steel wheel.

The newly appointed Transport Minister, Graeme Dey MSP, joined Scottish Canals’ CEO Catherine Topley at The Falkirk Wheel on Wednesday where she unveiled the organisation’s ambitious plans to become carbon neutral within 10 years.

In addition to the solar panels, new air source heat pumps will be installed on the world-renowned attraction alongside sub-metering to track renewable energy generation in real time and this will be on display in the newly refurbished visitor centre.

“I am pleased to join Scottish Canals in announcing its plans to reach net zero for direct carbon emissions by 2030 – which continue with the latest green investments at the Falkirk Wheel.
Over 500,000 visitors a year to the Falkirk Wheel will be able to see the live effect of renewable energy generation at the site. Scottish Canals continues to invest in zero emission vehicles, working collaboratively on climate adaptation infrastructure and the promotion of sustainable tourism and active travel.
It is this collaborative approach which will support Scotland in meeting its world leading target of net zero emissions by 2045.” - Transport Minister Graeme Dey MSP