Developing heat networks for the Exeter Growth Area

Developing heat networks for the Exeter Growth Area

LCTF is taking the lead on retrofitting a heat network for the City’s principal heat users. A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant run on gas, biomass or waste produces far less CO2 per unit of energy generated than conventional large scale power stations, run on gas, coal or oil. The latter typically only succeed in converting a third of the input energy into heat and power for the consumer, compared with two thirds from a locally operated CHP plant.

For the last three years, the Task Force has been undertaking a range of technical studies that will form the basis of an offer to the market in 2015. Work by Parsons Brinkerhof on behalf of LCTF, completed in 2013, has demonstrated that there is a sound commercial case for a heat network for Exeter, delivering returns in the range of 8-9% for an investment of up to £25 million. Complementary work by the Centre for Energy and the Environment at Exeter University shows a further large scale opportunity in the South West Exeter development area. The recently completed Energy from Waste plant at Marsh Barton, Exeter is able to provide a core part of this scheme given that it is able to deliver substantial amounts of waste heat to the City. These studies are reported here

The core partners, which are Exeter City Council, Teignbridge District Council, Devon County Council, the RD&E NHS Trust and the University of Exeter have now moved to the second stage of this work, commissioning financial, legal and technical advice from Deloittes, Bevan Brittan and Parsons Brinkerhof in a study substantially funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. For more inforamation, click here.

This study is assessing the detailed economics of the retrofit case for Exeter and advising on the establishment of an Energy Service Company, with significant private sector funding. The work will be completed by early 2015 and will form the basis of an offer to the market later in 2015.