A new project has been set up to use waste heat from the London underground to warm homes and cut people’s energy bills.
Islington Council’s Bunhill Heat and Power heat network will run the scheme and they already supply more than 700 homes with greener heating.
The new project will see the network will be expanded to capture and utilise two local sources of waste heat. One will come from a London underground ventilation shaft and the other will come from a sub-station owned and operated by UK Power Networks. Under the expansion there will also be at least another 500 homes connected to Islington’s heat network.
The heat will be captured from a nearby Northern Line vent and piped into the heat network which will warm local homes, reports 24dash.
This is the first of its kind in Europe and is a partnership between Islington Council, London Mayor Boris Johnson, UK Power Networks and Transport for London.
Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: “The expanded Bunhill Heat Network will cut energy bills for hundreds more local people. With energy prices going up and up, it’s vital we do what we can to cut bills. It’s all part of the council’s work to help people manage the rising cost of living. Last winter was one of the coldest for decades and record energy prices meant many families on fixed incomes spent it in misery, unsure whether to heat or eat.”
Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor of London’s senior advisor on environment and energy, said: “We need to do everything possible to create a more secure, cost-effective and sustainable heat and power supply for London. By supporting locally sourced energy and heat networks which can reduce bills and lower carbon emissions, we can not only save money but also drive innovation, jobs and growth in this burgeoning sector.”
Currently Islington’s heat network is currently fed by a combined heat and power energy centre which produces both electricity and heat. In the same way a car engine’s heat is used to keep drivers warm, the energy centre uses the heat created from producing electricity to keep buildings warm and provide hot water.
Martin Wilcox, head of future networks at UK Power Networks, said: “We are carrying out a feasibility project exploring the potential to capture waste heat from one of our high voltage electricity substations and use it to warm local homes for the first time. If it is successful there could be potential to replicate this and increase access to low carbon, low cost energy in other parts of the capital because we have electricity substations dotted throughout London which keep the lights on for millions of homes and businesses.”
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