Major expansion for Leeds PIPES network


28 September 2021
Quarry House is one of the new connections to the Leeds PIPES network

The rapidly-expanding Leeds PIPES heat network project is set to grow further with St James’s Hospital, Quarry House and Trinity Academy all announcing plans to connect to the network.

The project has already seen 26.5km of district heating installed across Leeds during the first two phases of work and phase 3 will see an additional 2km installed.

The network distributes low-carbon heat from the nearby Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF), and delivers it to local residents, businesses and civic buildings. The scheme already delivers significant carbon savings each year, and this is set to increase with the addition of the 3 new major connections.

Mike Cooke, managing director for North and Scotland at Vital Energi, said: “Leeds PIPES is one of the most exciting heat networks in the UK. Leeds City Council have demonstrated that cities can deliver massive, rapid decarbonisation as a way of meeting their climate emergency targets and this expansion will allow more organisations to utilise low-carbon heat, increase the efficiency of the network and deliver further carbon reductions.

“Whilst the carbon savings are of massive importance, its contribution towards fighting fuel poverty can’t be overstated as Leeds City Council can now offer 1,983 homes more affordable heat and hot water.”

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In addition to delivering strong environmental benefits the Leeds PIPES project has supported 430 local, low-carbon sector jobs and 36 apprenticeships and continued safely throughout the pandemic.  

This will be the third time Vital Energi has worked with St James’s Hospital to deliver a carbon reduction project after previously delivering an upgrade to their energy centre and, more recently, installing a range of energy conservation and generation measures, such as air and water source heat pumps, to lower their carbon further.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for infrastructure and climate, said:  “Since declaring a climate emergency we’ve made fantastic progress on delivering schemes and initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint. Not only is district heating  a worthwhile investment to help combat climate change, but it is also a smart investment for the city too. These new connections mean that the network will return more to the council than it costs us — helping to protect vital frontline services.” 

Martha Hart, project lead, Arup, said: “We are thrilled that the second phase of the Leeds PIPES project is now complete, bringing affordable, low-carbon heat to homes and businesses across the city and Leeds another step closer to carbon neutrality by 2030.”

Vital Energi