A scheme to provide green heating to homes on a regenerated estate in Kingston, Surrey, will see excess heat recovered from the sewage treatment process power more than 2,000 homes, Thames Water has announced.
Up to seven gigawatt hours of heat per year could be recovered from the final effluent of the sewage treatment process at the Hogsmill facility, concentrated and supplied to the new Cambridge Road Estate via a sealed network of pipes.
The estate’s district heating network could be expanded to include public and commercial buildings in Kingston town centre. If successful, the project could provide a model for similar schemes elsewhere in the country.
Government and Greater London Authority funding was used during the two-year feasibility and design phase. A decision on government capital funding for the project will be announced this month.
Cllr Caroline Kerr, leader of Kingston Council, said: “This is ground-breaking. It’s a first for England and shows we are serious about reducing carbon in the borough… The regeneration of Kingston’s largest council estate, Cambridge Road Estate, is a fantastic opportunity to make new homes in Kingston among the greenest in the country.”
Kingston Council has a target to be carbon neutral by 2038.
Sarah Bentley, Thames Water’s chief executive officer, said, “Renewable heat from our sewer network is a fantastic resource… [We] are confident innovative district heating schemes like this will offer many more opportunities to ensure we leave our planet in a better place for future generations.”
Around a quarter of Thames Water’s electricity use is currently generated from sewage, wind and solar. The company will announce later this year its roadmap to net zero carbon emissions by 2030.