Monday, May 15, 2023

News: £25m boost for Rotherham heat network


Plans to harness the heat from the £150m biomass power station at Templeborough in Rotherham have received a funding boost from the government.

Rothbiz reported in 2018, when the site came online, that plans had been submitted for an energy centre and pipeline network as part of a project that aims to provide Rotherham town centre and key industrial energy-using areas of Rotherham with a low cost renewable choice for their heat source.

Now Rotherham Energy Limited has secured £25m to build a new Rotherham Energy Network - a share of £91m from the government’s Green Heat Network Fund.

Together, the projects will boost the UK’s energy security and independence and help delivering on the government’s commitment to grow the economy – with the schemes expected to create hundreds of new, skilled jobs.

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: "The UK is a world leader when it comes to reducing carbon emissions – but we must continue to push the boundaries to reach our net zero goal.

"These innovative projects will not only benefit the communities they serve, by reducing emissions and providing low-cost heating that helps to drive down energy bills, but also support the nation’s push for greater energy security and independence.

"They form part of our energy revolution – creating hundreds of new jobs for our ever-expanding green economy."

In Rotherham, proponents of the scheme, 1Energy, have given it a total investment cost of £61.84m. The low-to-zero carbon (LZC) heat network will distribute upgraded waste heat from the power plant.

Built on disused land at the Firth Rixson Ickles Works, the plant generates clean, green energy using waste wood, exporting just over 41MW of green electricity which is enough to supply 78,000 homes (around half the population of Rotherham) and save over 150,000 tons of CO2 every year.

Rotherham Energy Network (REN) will take waste heat from the cooling towers, upgrade the heat to 80°C using water-to-water heat pump and distribute heat over c.10km of pipework for distribution to 34 connections in and around Rotherham town centre.

2022 documents had construction starting on site in late 2023 and running for 28 months. It could become operational in Spring 2025.

1Energy, develops and builds private-sector funded LZC district energy networks in city centres. A joint venture between the founders and a fund managed by Asper Investment Management, 1Energy undertakes and funds all activities through the project stages. It is also working on a project in Bradford which has also secured government funding and began construction in November of last year. Asper recently announced the close of its fund to back 1Energy with £220m commitments from UK and global institutional investors.

Ken Hunnisett, Programme Director for Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, delivery partner for the fund, said: "From Cornwall to London, Reading to Rotherham, funding announced today will go far to help us reach our net zero ambitions and provide clean heating across residential and commercial buildings.

"We are excited to work with the teams in each of these locations to deliver these new heating infrastructure projects to help them deliver on their green goals and make a real difference to how we heat our buildings."

In 2019, Greencoat Capital (now part of Schroders Capital) acquired 100% of Templeborough Biomass Power Plant Ltd from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

1Energy website

Images: Google Maps


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