Britain’s biggest chain of city heat networks, until December the property of Equans, the Bouygues-linked operator, has re-launched this week under the brand Bring Energy.

Twelve piped heat grids, including across London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Excel Centre in Docklands and the prestigious Battersea Power Station retail & residential complex, pictured, were sold to new investors at the end of last year.

The chain as sold was quantified at 432MW of heating capacity, 117MW of heating and 67MW of electricity.  Pipelines under Edinburgh’s St James’ Quarter, and in Birmingham, Coventry, Newcastle, Leicester and Southampton complete the portfolio.

Bring Energy will focus on accelerating the delivery of sustainable city-scale heating and cooling, optimising its existing networks, enhancing customer service, and decarbonising its portfolio.

Its first project is a large-scale water source heat pump installation, designed to recover wasted heat from cooling processes at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Backed by international and UK investors, Bring Energy is hoping to profit from energy ministry D-ESNZ’s favouring of the sector’s low-carbon technology.

The government’s Energy Security Bill published in November provided provisions for the expansion of  district networks, including the powers for government to implement heat network zoning in England and to make heat networks the first option for heat supply for new and existing buildings covered by those zones.

The bill includes a Green Heat Networks Fund (GHNF), a three-year, £288 million source of capital grants, supporting the commercialisation and construction of new low and zero carbon heat networks.

Also known as district heating, heat networks supply heat from a central source to consumers, via a network of underground pipes carrying hot water. This avoids the need for individual boilers or electric heaters in every building.

“Heat networks could provide 20% of UK heat by 2050, up from around 3% today, and are critical to enhancing energy security and achieving net zero”, Bring Energy’s executive chairman Richard Burrell observed.

“We want to bring low-carbon heating and cooling to cities across the UK and work with local authorities, developers, and communities to accelerate growth of city-scale networks.”

Burrell’s earlier career includes founding and floating listed energy companies including AMP Clean Energy, a provider of distributed heat and power.  He is also non-executive chair of Esken Renewables, claimed as the UK’s biggest supplier of biomass feedstock, and a director of Mathieson Capital Investment Management.


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