City of Bristol selects partner to take on climate change 2030 challenge  

Ameresco, Inc., a leading clean-tech integrator specialising in energy efficiency and renewable energy, has announced that its subsidiary, Ameresco Ltd., has been selected as a partner in the Bristol City Leap project, a 20-year concession to decarbonise the city.  

City of Bristol selects partner to take on climate change 2030 challenge

Ameresco, in partnership with Vattenfall, will work with energy groups, city stakeholders and local Bristol businesses to install a full range of technologies aimed at optimising city-wide electrical infrastructure.  

Over the first five years of the partnership, the project is expected to deliver c140,000 tonnes of carbon savings, and c182MW of zero-carbon energy generation. Additionally, the partnership is expected to deliver a wealth of social and economic benefits for the residents and businesses of Bristol, including c£61m of estimated social value, c£55m of contracts to be delivered by local suppliers including an increase in local jobs, apprenticeships and work placements.  

A 20-year term targeting net zero 

The development and implementation of ongoing low-carbon, energy resilient investments will help Bristol reach its carbon neutrality goals. 

In partnership with numerous city of Bristol stakeholders, Ameresco, in collaboration with Vattenfall Heat UK, will work through a unique public private partnership structure to provide services including energy efficiency upgrades, wind and solar services, project financing, long-term operation and maintenance and more.  

The Bristol City Leap project is intended to operate over a 20-year term, targeting net zero goals through a series of energy and infrastructure investment opportunities, attracting approximately £1 billion of inward investment.  

The project will span the 34 ward areas that make up the city of Bristol. Services will address all sectors of the built environment, including public sector facilities like hospitals, universities, and schools, as well as industrial, commercial and residential buildings throughout the Bristol community. The City Leap program is designed to enable Bristol to experience lower energy costs, cleaner air, improved energy infrastructure and a boost to the local economy through the city-wide decarbonisation effort.  

Much-needed decarbonisation 

Councillor Craig Cheney, deputy mayor with responsibility for finance, governance and performance said: “City Leap means large investment in Bristol’s energy systems and our ambitious carbon targets. We are creating a long-term partnership on a scale that will bring investment into the much-needed decarbonisation of our energy system.” 

“City Leap will have a real impact for Bristol residents including the way people move around the city and the ways that we power and heat our homes. It will help us to move much more quickly towards carbon neutrality, creating a cleaner, greener and healthier city that is truly fit for the future.  

“With City Leap, Bristol will become a focal point for new low carbon technologies and smart energy systems whilst creating thousands of jobs and ensuring a just transition. I’m pleased to see a potential partner that shares our vision for a better, zero-carbon Bristol.” 

Opening the eyes of neighbouring areas 

“Our team is thrilled to be a part of such an incredible initiative taken by the city of Bristol that will hopefully open the eyes of neighbouring areas to the possibilities that exist within city-wide decarbonisation projects,” said Britta MacIntosh, senior vice president of Ameresco.  

“The announcement of the Bristol City Leap project is the first time that a UK city has embarked on such a comprehensive, transformative plan to decarbonise an entire city’s energy system by 2030. We applaud their leadership, innovation and steadfast focus on this plan.” 

Mike Reynolds, managing director of Vattenfall Heat UK said, “We are very excited to be able to build upon the strong foundations established by Bristol City Council in getting the first district heating networks installed in Bristol. We have big plans to roll out the heat network quickly and at scale to serve the people of Bristol with reliable, affordable low carbon heat.  

“Our partnership with Ameresco means we are able to apply the right technology in the right area of the city—bringing district heating to where it is best suited, as well as individual heat pumps where they are more cost-effective.”