More than £30 million from public funds is set to benefit heat networks in Hull, Peterborough & Wigan.
Projects in the first two cities are early beneficiaries of the Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF), a £288 million, three-year funding programme launched in March.
Over 14,000 centrally managed heat networks exist across Britain, providing heating and hot water to an estimated 480,000 consumers. Seizing scale economies which avoid independent gas boilers in each building, the networks’ energy sources can make a big contribution to ridding Britain’s dwellings and workplaces of carbon.
Hull and Peterborough will receive more than £27 million from the funding pot, boosting city-specific initiatives including heat pumps, solar and geothermal energy, all capable of pumping low carbon heat at scale. Annual emissions savings across both towns are anticipated, equivalent to taking 5.6 million cars off the road.
In Lancashire, Wigan will benefit from £2.6 million, one of the final awards from the £320 million Heat Networks Investment Project, set up in 2018 by D-BEIS’ forerunner DECC.
Energy minister Lord Callanan said: “It’s vital that we invest in cutting edge technologies, like heat networks, that move us away from heating our homes and businesses with carbon-emitting fossil fuels.
“I’m delighted to see that, through the Green Heat Network Fund, ground-breaking projects will be developed at pace to the benefit of communities, moving us away from soaring energy bills and delivering cheaper, greener energy”.
In a further investment boost for heat networks, councils will now be offered streamlined access to the UK Infrastructure Bank’s £4 billion of loans, earmarked for town halls eager to profit from GHNF funding.
John Flint, CEO of UK Infrastructure Bank, said: ”Heat networks provide an innovative and proven solution which can help tackle the Net Zero and local growth challenges. Helping local authorities unlock access to finance for these projects will be crucial.
“The bank is well placed to play a significant role in supporting the development of heat networks and we are pleased to be taking the next step through our new partnership with D-BEIS in fulfilment of this ambition”, Flint added.
Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management is contracted to deliver both government pump-primers. Programme director Ken Hunnisett said:
“It will be such a pleasure to work with the teams in Hull and Peterborough to deliver these fantastic, real-world, clean energy infrastructure projects that will generate local jobs and provide heat to local communities, all during the life of the Green Heat Network Fund.
“Such has been the pace at which the new fund has launched that we are still announcing the late-stage successes of its predecessor, the Heat Network Investment Project.” Hunnisett observed.
“The new network at the heart of the redeveloped Galleries Shopping Centre in Wigan will be delivering low carbon heat to retail, leisure, and residential premises within the next three years”.