Funding for four more heat networks


06 January 2022
One of the schemes awarded funding is Kensington and Chelsea in London

Four more heat network schemes have been awarded funding through the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP).

The schemes, in Liverpool, Bristol, Worthing and London, will each utilise heat pump technology to provide low carbon heat to homes and buildings. The announcement takes the total amount awarded via the HNIP to more than £250 million. 

Ken Hunnisett, of 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.”

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. 

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.

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.

Content continues after advertisements

Peel NRE Developments

Peel NRE, through its supply company (ESCo) Mersey Heat is 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. 

Lord Callanan, form the 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.”