Government awards cash for innovative heating plans in the Marches
The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has secured £67,000 in Government funding to investigate and develop plans for state of the art shared heating systems that could cut costs and promote energy saving.
The cash from the Department of Energy and Climate Change will go towards four feasibility studies into potential schemes in Hereford, Shrewsbury, Whitchurch and Telford. The Marches LEP will provide the remaining £33,000 towards the £100,000 overall cost which has come from the European Regional Development Fund.
The district heat networks would see the latest low carbon technologies being used to heat multiple buildings.
Although common in other countries, district heat networks currently provide less than 2 per cent of the UK’s heat demand. The Government wants to raise that to 14 per cent.
Heat networks, often referred to as district heating schemes, supply heat from a central source directly to homes and businesses through a network of pipes carrying hot water. This means that individual homes and businesses do not need to generate their own heat on site.
The funding came from the Government’s Heat Network Delivery Unit as part of its commitment to increase the use of district heat networks in the country.
Gill Hamer, Director of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “District heat networks are not only cost effective and a viable alternative to individual renewable technology but they help reduce the cost of energy for consumers.
“Our local authority partners will be conducting studies to see how district heat networks can be introduced or extended in these four cases with a view of implementing the lessons learnt across the Marches.”
Feasibility studies into district heat networks for the following will be investigated:
Hereford Urban Village: a proposed 192 unit development will be located adjacent to the Edgar Street Football ground and includes a 60-bed extra care home as well as the adjacent existing retail and leisure amenities. Heat sources will include, but not be limited to, biomass and gas CHP.
Whitchurch, Shropshire: the town has strong potential for significant levels of growth with 1,200 dwellings and around 20 hectares of employment land to be developed up to 2026. The proposals include a development site of up to 500 dwellings, new cricket and football pitches and new education facilities. Energy infrastructure issues mean that the area has local support for consideration of opportunities relating to district heating.
Battlefield Incinerator, Shrewsbury: This has strong potential for district heating with up to 3MWt of output capacity available. Managers Veolia has already developed district heating systems from their incinerators in South London and Sheffield. Initial feasibility work will help to identify the specific opportunities to be taken forward at this site.
Southwater, Telford: The District Energy Network is part of a wider regeneration development of the 21.82-hectare site that the Council has the opportunity to deliver over the long term at Southwater through additional phases. The Southwater District Energy Network is a key part of the Southwater development and a network of pre-insulated pipes has been installed to enable the distribution of heat through the Southwater development. In early 2014 the Council began operating a district heating system with Southwater, with the system currently provides heat to two Council buildings. The existing Energy Centre installation has been designed to allow a phased approach that will accommodate future expansion of the District Heat Network and a fully enabled site within Southwater.