Following the publication of the Heat and Buildings Strategy, funding awards were announced on 6 January for a suite of low carbon heat network projects, under the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP), a scheme partly funded by the UK government.
The announcement covers major projects using heat networks and heat pumps, the two principal technologies prioritised by the strategy. The projects “really demonstrate the adaptability and flexibility of heat pump technology when deployed in heat networks”, said a press release from the administrators of the scheme, Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management.
“The successful heat network schemes announced today all utilise heat pump technology and bring the total amount awarded via the funding scheme to over £250 million.”
Ken Hunnisett, Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management said:
“The Heat and Buildings Strategy made clear that both heat networks and heat pumps are central to the Government’s decarbonisation efforts. So, it is fantastic to see so many schemes already stepping up to combine these solutions in such innovative ways to access heat under our feet, in the air around us, in our waterways and even within our sewerage system. Not only will these inspiring projects deliver carbon savings, but they prove that heat pump technology is adaptable and can contribute to a smarter, more flexible future energy system.”
Lord Callanan, Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy said:
“Changing the way we heat our homes and workspaces is key to tackling pollution and today’s investment into new heat networks across Worthing, London, Bristol and Liverpool will ensure these areas are placed at the heart of the UK’s green industrial revolution.
“The new networks of air source heat pumps will deliver affordable, low-carbon heat and energy across the nation’s homes, universities residences, and business units, while opening up huge job and investment opportunities, making our thriving cities and seaside towns greener places to live, work, and visit.”
An overview of projects awarded funding is provided below.
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Kensington and Chelsea Council has been awarded over £1.1 million to develop a new zero carbon heat network which will be able to provide heat to 826 existing homes in North Kensington, and several public buildings and business units. Around 80% of these homes are heated currently by two heat networks which are over 40 years old, and the remainder use individual combi-boilers and gas CHP. By using Air Source Heat Pump technology, the Notting Dale Heat Network will be zero-carbon from 2030 supporting the council’s plans for the borough to become net zero carbon by 2040. The scheme is expected to deliver carbon savings over the first 15 years of operation of around 790 tonnes per year.
Cllr Kim-Taylor Smith, lead member for Grenfell, Housing and Social Investment, said:
“It’s important as a Council we continue to put residents first and provide a better quality of life now and for future generations. We’re making great strides in our progress to decarbonise all of our services and the borough as a whole, but we know homes can be one of the biggest carbon emitters.
“It’s fantastic to be able to further our plans for a zero-carbon heat network, which we have co-designed with local residents. This will allow us to provide affordable heating and hot water in an environmentally friendly way, whilst tackling fuel poverty.”
Worthing Borough Council
The scheme will support Worthing Borough Council’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030 by replacing gas boilers in 27 buildings with a heat network that will use a centralised heat pump to take heat from the sewer underneath the town. The use of ‘sewer heat’ to replace gas boilers follows a discovery that sewers below Worthing contain more than enough heat to replace gas boilers in public buildings. The buildings due to be connected to the heat network include the town hall, library, hospital, leisure centres, law courts, police building and possibly even schools. Future expansion potential of the network could see additional premises connect to the network over time. HNIP funding of just over £5 million will cover preparatory work, initial construction and the appointment of a private sector partner to help finance, design, build, own and operate.
When the heat network is operational, the 3MW heat pump will capture heat passing through the mains sewer, which runs below Worthing’s high street. It is expected to save 2,454 tonnes of carbon per year by replacing fossil fuel gas boilers with a sustainable energy source.
Cllr Edward Crouch, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Digital and Environmental Services, said:
“The prospect of heating huge swathes of the town using the heat that is literally beneath our feet while phasing out environmentally harmful gas boilers, is a simple but wonderful piece of science that, if adopted around the world, could help save the planet. I’m extremely grateful to HNIP for showing faith in our scheme with this funding
Bristol City Council
Bristol City Council has previously been awarded HNIP funding for two heat networks in the city and has secured a further £1.7 million to support the development of a new heat network. Combined, these low carbon networks are expected to deliver heat to over 6,000 residences.
The Temple Heat Network is being developed to generate low carbon heat from water sources accessible from the regeneration of Temple Island and waste heat from the University of Bristol’s Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus. A combination of heat pump technologies will be used to provide low carbon heat to local homes and businesses, as well as student housing, university buildings and education facilities. The technology mix includes a Ground Source Heat pump using a local sandstone aquifer, a Water Source Heat Pump using Bristol’s floating harbour and extracting waste heat from the university buildings themselves.
Councillor Nicola Beech, Bristol’s Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Energy and Waste said:
“The Bristol Heat Network is an integral part of our strategy for decarbonising the city and ensuring that Bristol continues to play its part in addressing the climate crisis. The council has invested over £60m in low-carbon and renewable infrastructure in recent years and we’re delighted to be working in partnership on this innovative project.
“It’s exciting to be replacing old technology with greener solutions and great to be supporting businesses and public sector partners with their own efforts to decarbonise. Developing the heat networks has so many benefits for the city including the reduction in fuel poverty, cutting carbon emissions and creating thousands of jobs to support the local economy.”
Liverpool Water, delivered by Peel NRE Developments , part of Peel L&P
Peel NRE, through its supply company (ESCo) Mersey Heat are delivering a district heat network to the Liverpool Waters development and the surrounding areas. Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P, successfully secured funding in Round 2 to deliver the first phase of the Mersey Heat network. The scheme was initially designed on a Gas CHP generation; however, this new HNIP funding award of £6.2 million will enable the transition to a heat pump solution as the main generation source and connection of a central cluster of existing buildings with significant load (Liverpool’s The Three Graces buildings and surrounding properties). The funding will support one of two 3MW low-carbon heat pumps, the first of which will be water source heat pump.
More than 2.5km of pipework for the 4.1km network has already been installed and this new funding also enables Mersey Heat to undertake further feasibility studies. When complete, Mersey Heat will provide low carbon heat and hot water to up to 9,000 homes and 4 million sq. ft of commercial space at Peel L&P’s £5bn Liverpool Waters development and nearby buildings.
Jonathan Burley, Commercial Director at Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P, said:
“Mersey Heat supports national and local targets to achieve net zero and we’re pleased to receive further funding to help roll-out the network on a larger scale.
“The addition of large historical buildings like the Three Graces would make a high-profile impact on reducing Liverpool’s carbon footprint and we look forward to working with the buildings’ owners and our district heat network specialists Ener-Vate to progress these designs and hopefully connect some of Liverpool’s most prestigious properties to our low carbon network.”