Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
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£8 million boost for low carbon heat projects in south Wales

The UK Government-funded networks will supply affordable low-carbon heat to public buildings such as leisure centres and local council offices in south Wales.

  • UK Government-funded heat networks to supply affordable low-carbon heat to public buildings such as leisure centres and local council offices in South Wales
  • Making buildings greener is the next step in government plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050
  • Bridgend and Cardiff networks could help hundreds of homes and buildings cut emissions by up to 80% – the equivalent of planting 7,000 trees

Hundreds of homes and buildings across Cardiff and Bridgend will receive low-carbon energy from new heat network projects thanks to a £8 million boost announced by the UK Government yesterday (12 August) The funding will develop a new system of distribution pipes taking excess heat from a central source such as energy generated from waste in Cardiff, and a Combined Heat and Power plant with thermal storage facility in Bridgend. These sources will then supply heat to public buildings within the town and city centre, and can easily connect to new, lower carbon heat sources in the future.

Heat networks are a proven, cost-effective way of providing reliable low carbon heat at a fair price to consumers. The new networks in Cardiff and Bridgend will be future-proofed to ensure that businesses and households across South Wales can connect to the system in years to come, helping to provide cheaper and greener energy.

The new projects are part of the UK Government’s Heat Networks Investment Project, a £320 million fund to support the construction of heat networks across England and Wales.

Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng yesterday said:

These projects in Bridgend and Cardiff will help connect as many local homes and businesses as possible to low-carbon affordable heating, helping people save money on energy bills.

By connecting public buildings up to heat networks, councils and leisure centres can reinvest the money saved on energy bills into frontline services in a way that achieves our goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart yesterday said:

Heat networks form an important part of the UK Government’s plan to reduce carbon emissions and cut heating bills for consumers.

This £8 million investment will help heat hundreds of homes and buildings using cheaper, greener energy across Bridgend and Cardiff. It also marks another step forward for our ambitious Clean Growth Strategy and moves us closer to our target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

With 9% of emissions in Wales coming from homes and buildings, the projects in Bridgend and Cardiff will be a further step towards greener heating and lower bills across the UK. By reusing heat from a local waste plant, those connected to the Cardiff network could reduce their carbon emissions by up to 80%. This could save 18,000 tonnes of CO2 over the next ten years – the equivalent of planting 7,000 trees.

Both projects will be awarded funding through Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, the UK Government’s delivery partner who have successfully awarded funding to 18 projects in total as part of the Heat Networks Investment Project.

Ken Hunnisett, Project Director at Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, yesterday said:

One of the aims of HNIP is to deliver affordable and dependable low-carbon heat, and so the announcement of the first HNIP-funded heat networks in Wales is a significant milestone. The projects will deliver significant benefit to both consumers and the environment and will demonstrate the role heat network schemes can play in meeting carbon targets by reducing emissions from buildings.

At present less than 5% of energy used for heating homes and buildings comes from low-carbon sources. Increasing the number of homes and businesses on heat networks is an important part of the UK Government’s plans to improve take-up of low-carbon heat as the UK seeks to end its contribution towards climate change entirely by 2050.

Heat networks are one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions from heating, and their efficiency and carbon-saving potential increases as they grow and connect to each other. The Committee on Climate Change estimates that around 18% of UK heat will need to come from heat networks by 2050 if the UK is to meet its net zero target.

Notes to Editors

About the Heat Networks Investment Project

  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is investing £320 million into heat networks in England and Wales up to March 2022 through the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP), designed to accelerate the growth of the market.
  • Triple Point Heat Network Investment Management is running HNIP under contract.
  • A list of successful projects can be found here.
  • Heat network projects looking to apply for funding can do so here.
  • Find out more about the Heat Networks Investment Project.

Details of the successful HNIP projects

Bridgend Town Heat Network: £1,241,000 commercialisation and construction grant

Initially, the scheme will serve public sector buildings in the town centre, including Bowls Hall, Civic Centre offices, Bridgend Life Centre (leisure centre) and a new residential development. The network will allow for the expansion to other buildings in the immediate vicinity including local business and residential units. The energy centre will be based at the Bridgend Life Centre and initially use gas fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) with back-up gas boilers. These will be replaced with a larger CHP unit and new backup/peak boilers with the addition of thermal storage tank at the rear of Bridgend Life Centre as the scheme develops. Key objectives for the scheme are to continue to provide reduced energy costs for customers, provide carbon emissions savings compared to alternative strategies and, over time, further decarbonise heat supplies.

Cardiff Heat Network: £6,628,000 construction grant

The proposed Cardiff Heat Network will begin at Trident Park Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) plant in Cardiff Bay, spreading across the Bay area before crossing the main Cardiff to London railway line, as part of a later phase. Funding from Heat Network Investment Project will support Phase 1 of the network which will reach to the area immediately south of the railway line. Utilising the ERF plant will allow the network to meet the 12 GWh per annum of Phase 1 customer heat demand, whilst a separate energy centre containing back-up gas boilers will provide further capacity, ensuring resilience to the network. Once fully built out (phase 1 and 2), connections will have a combined annual heat demand of 34 GWh with adjacent private sector buildings having a combined annual heat demand of approximately 22 GWh. Part of the HNIP funding will support the costs of future proofing the network to accommodate for this potential future growth.


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