The Old Oak Park Royal development in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham will be the first of its kind to recycle waste heat from large computer systems storing internet data to supply heating for the local community.
The heat network, backed by £36 million in government support will connect 10,000 new homes and 250,000m2 of commercial space to a low carbon energy source that will help keep bills low and contribute to the UK’s drive to reach net-zero by 2050.
It is one of five green heating projects in London, Watford, Suffolk, and Lancaster allocated grants from the Green Heat Network Fund. Together they are expected to create thousands of skilled jobs, helping deliver the government’s promise to grow the economy.
One of these successful projects will see Lancaster University fully decarbonise its campus, by receiving over £21 million in support for a new low carbon heat network. The heat network will supply heat to the university campus using a large heat pump, powered by a new solar farm and existing wind turbine.
Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho said: “Innovative projects, like these announced today, are another example of why the UK is a world leader in cutting carbon emissions.
"We are investing in the technologies of the future so that families across the country will now be able to warm their homes with low-carbon, recycled heat – while creating thousands of new skilled jobs.”
Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “Keeping homes warm with waste heat from technology is a glimpse into the future – and demonstrates just how innovative this country can be when it comes to reducing our carbon emissions.
“The £65 million we’ve awarded today will help spread this success across the country, by rolling out innovative low carbon heating to help to drive down energy bills and deliver our net-zero goal.”
Today’s round of funding comes on top of £122 million already awarded to support 11 new heat network projects across the country, under the government’s Green Heat Network Fund.
The full list of projects to receive the new £65 million support are:
Matthew Basnett, the Association for Decentralised Energy’s (ADE) Heat Network Policy Lead, said: "Heat decarbonisation in buildings is a huge challenge, and one that is often fundamentally misunderstood – heat networks are the only internationally proven route for decarbonising heat at scale, yet most people don’t know what they are.
“We are excited to see that another round of the Green Heat Network Fund has been successful, and celebrate the news that a first-in-the-UK development will use waste heat from data centres to keep more than 10,000 homes warm, comfortable and affordable in the long-term. We now look forward to seeing government work with industry to raise the profile of heat networks as a versatile solution for heat decarbonisation.”
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