Partnership aims to deliver city-wide low carbon heat network

The equivalent of 5,000 homes are now being served with heating and hot water via the Bristol Heat Network.

An update of the progress being made on the Bristol Heat Network.

Vattenfall Heat UK acquired the Bristol Heat Network one year ago as part of Bristol City Leap, a 20-year joint venture between Bristol City Council and Ameresco with Vattenfall Heat UK as a subcontractor.

Over the next five years, Bristol City Leap plans to deliver a total of £750m in the decarbonisation of Bristol and create 1000 jobs in the process. During the same period, Vattenfall expects to invest £475million to grow the Bristol Heat Network, enabling it to provide enough heat to supply the equivalent of 12,000 homes.

Jon Sankey, head of business development, Bristol, at Vattenfall Heat UK, said: “Our vision for Bristol is a city-wide low carbon heat network that provides reliable heating and hot water at a fair price. The benefits are huge and over the next five years, Bristol City Leap expects to generate £61.5million of social value in Bristol, with Vattenfall making a substantial contribution through the partnership.

“We’re ready to deliver local low carbon heat to residential and commercial properties. We’re actively seeking commercial organisations and communities across Bristol who are looking to connect to the heat network and decarbonise their buildings.”

Vattenfall has committed to decarbonising the Bristol Heat Network by 2030, making it fossil free.

Revolutionising a city’s energy system

Bristol City Council’s partnership with Ameresco showcases how governments and businesses can join forces with communities to revolutionise a city’s energy system, from generation and distribution to storage consumption.

There are now 28 commercial and residential buildings connected to the Bristol Heat Network, including Temple Fire Station, Central Health Clinic, Box Makers Yard apartment building, multiple social housing blocks and Hannah Moore Primary School. The network serves enough heat to supply the equivalent of more than 5000 homes. Further connection agreements are signed, and once connected will provide enough heat to supply the equivalent of more than 1000 homes.

Bristol developer, Cubex, delivered the two most recent connections – Millwrights Place and Coopers Court. The connections mark the completion of Finzels Reach, one of the largest brownfield redevelopment sites in the South West.

The prime 4.7-acre site is now home to over 1 million sq ft of new space, comprising 375,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, 737 new homes including 100 affordable homes and 429 Build to Rent apartments, a 168-bed hotel and 30,000 sq ft of leisure space. The properties have achieved 35% energy consumption improvement and 47% less carbon emissions of which 43% is attributed to the heat network connection for heating and cooling.

Building energy self-sufficiency

Heat networks can be switched to different heat sources after installation with minimal disruption to end users, meaning the network can make the most of locally available resources and capture them to supply heating and hot water to homes and businesses. This builds energy self-sufficiency and future proofs the city’s heating and hot water supply. In the current volatile energy market, the heat network contributes to energy security and resilience, with heating at a fair price to the consumer.

One of the low carbon sources supplying heat to the network is England’s largest single harbour-based water source heat pump at Castle Park Energy Centre.

Will Tomlinson, development director at Cubex said: “As we strengthen our position in the living sector we will be focused on providing ‘intelligent’, tech-enabled, sustainable buildings in Bristol and across the South West.

“Working with Vattenfall Heat UK, our developments have a low carbon heat source that delivers homes with a secure source of sustainable heat. Partnering with a business that shares our values we can build a future that targets net zero emissions.”

Image credit: Redcliff Street 2 @JonCraig_Photos.jpg, supplied by Copper Consultancy on behalf of Vattenfall