Investment in heat networks is good news for installer

The Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) is investing up to £320m of support in individual projects across England and Wales, providing job opportunities for installers.

Having been awarded more than £3.2 million of HNIP funding for a community heat network in the village of Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire County Council ha announced that the funding will help the 300-strong village to transition from oil to low carbon heating and is thought to be the first project of its kind to actively collaborate with members of the local community to deliver a village wide scheme.

The proposed heat network will use a hybrid solution, combining a ground source heat pump and air source heat pump to provide zero carbon heating to homes within the village. Construction will consist of drilling 130 boreholes into the ground to a depth of around 200m to extract heat. The ground source heat pump will be supplemented by an air source heat pump and both will be powered by solar panels.

Lord Callanan, minister for climate change and corporate responsibility, said:
“As a result of £3.2 million government funding, hundreds of residents in Swaffham Prior will reap the benefits of having heating and hot water that doesn’t cost the earth, while helping to inspire communities across the UK to come together to tackle climate change and build back greener.

“It’s great to see government working together with the local community on this innovative project as part of our plans to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050.” 

Reducing carbon and creating jobs in Manchester

In another funding success story, Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management has announced a funding award of over £14,651,000 to a community-driven heat network project located in Manchester City Centre.

The Octagon Project Energy Network (OPEN) is being undertaken by Manchester Energy Partnership Limited (MEPL), a joint venture between Sustainable Energy Supplies Limited Ltd, and Electricity North West (Construction and Maintenance) Ltd.

The project area will cover 5 sq. km and plans to distribute locally generated, low carbon electricity, heat and cooling to a range of buildings including Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, major University buildings, a mix of over 1000 social housing units, student accommodation blocks, and commercial organisations.

MEPL will initially construct close to 10Mw of electricity from Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation, which will be combined with Photovoltaic Solar Panels and Air Source Heat Pumps throughout the network. The CHPs are designed so that the energy source can be changed in response to advancements in sustainable technologies over time.

Richard Everton, chairman of the Manchester Energy Partnership said:
“I am delighted that the tenacity and single mindedness of the MEPL team has turned what was a personal “pipe-dream” into a financially viable and practical reality for the city of Manchester. The support received from both the local authority and central government is proof that multiple agencies can work together with the private sector to bring about infrastructure projects that will benefit communities, in pursuit of fuel efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions in our major cities. Manchester is taking a strategic lead in achieving “Net Zero North West.”

For more information about Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management and to find out how to apply for HNIP support visit:

HNIP funds turn waste heat into warmth

A further £12.1 miliion of HNIP funding has been awarded to Cory to support the development of one of the UK’s largest heat networks, delivered by Vattenfall, to supply low carbon heat to a total of 21,000 homes in Bexley.

Cory’s existing Riverside energy from waste (EfW) facility will provide heat for up to 10,500 homes in the first phase of the proposed heat network. A second EfW facility – adjacent to the existing one and part of Cory’s Riverside Energy Park which received planning permission from the Government in April 2020 – will supply an additional 10,500 homes.

Serving a combined 21,000 homes, the heat network will be among the largest in the UK exemplifying the type of ambition needed as the UK transitions to net zero.

Lord Callanan, minister for climate change and corporate responsibility, said:
“Changing how we heat our homes is a vital part of eradicating our contribution to climate change by 2050.  This ground-breaking project will not only establish one of the UK’s largest heat networks but will help accelerate the roll out of cutting-edge low-carbon technologies.

“We are supporting the project with £12 million funding, which will directly benefit 21,000 households, as part of our commitment to ensure the UK’s towns and cities are cleaner places to live and work.”

Cory currently uses the River Thames to transport waste from the centre of London to its EfW facility on its fleet of tugs and barges, removing around 100,000 truck journeys a year from its congested roads. The completion of the Riverside Energy Park, which will be fully operational by 2025, will remove additional truck journeys, further reducing the capital’s reliance on landfill and delivering environmental and safety benefits. The waste that travels along the River Thames will serve the heat network.

HNIP is open for applications and more information can be found here.