First Green Heat Network Fund awards for cutting-edge low carbon energy projects

More than £30 million of funding will benefit homes and businesses in three communities to deliver low carbon heat and help consumers move away from costly fossil fuels as part of the government’s push to cut emissions.

Projects in Hull and Peterborough are the first to secure funding through the Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF), a £288 million government funding scheme launched in March last year.

Heat networks offer carbon emissions savings by supplying heat to buildings from a central source, avoiding the need for households and workplaces to rely on individual, energy-intensive heating solutions – such as gas boilers. As such, heat networks provide a significant contribution to the UK’s carbon reduction commitment.

The two cities will receive more than £27 million from the total funding allocation, to support initiatives that deliver clean heating to households, offices, commercial and public buildings, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions at the same time.

The GHNF funding will pave the way for low carbon technologies – like heat pumps, solar and geothermal energy – to be delivered at scale and established as a central heating source. The scheme is expected to reduce emissions equivalent to taking 5.6 million cars off the road for a year.

Meanwhile, in Wigan more than £2.6 million has been made available through one of the final awards from the £320 million Heat Networks Investment Project, which was succeeded by the GHNF this year after running since 2018.

Energy Minister Lord Callanan said:

It’s vital that we invest in cutting edge technologies, like heat networks, that move us away from heating our homes and businesses with carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

I’m delighted to see that, through the Green Heat Network Fund, ground-breaking projects will be developed at pace to the benefit of communities, moving us away from soaring energy bills and delivering cheaper, greener energy.

Ken Hunnisett, Programme Director for Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, delivery partner for the GHNF and HNIP, said:

It will be such a pleasure to work with the teams in Hull and Peterborough to deliver these fantastic, real-world, clean energy infrastructure projects that will generate local jobs and provide heat to local communities, all during the life of the Green Heat Network Fund.

Such has been the pace at which the new fund has launched that we are still announcing the late-stage successes of its predecessor, the Heat Network Investment Project. The new network at the heart of the redeveloped Galleries Shopping Centre in Wigan will be delivering low carbon heat to retail, leisure, and residential premises within the next 3 years.

In a further boost to future investment in low carbon heat networks, councils will now be offered streamlined access to the UK Infrastructure Bank’s £4 billion local authority lending product as part of the GHNF application process.

John Flint, CEO of UK Infrastructure Bank, said:

With rising energy bills, the need for low cost, low carbon heating systems is clear. Heat networks provide an innovative and proven solution which can help tackle the net zero and local growth challenge. Helping local authorities unlock access to finance for these projects will be crucial.

The Bank is well placed to play a significant role in supporting the development of heat networks and we are pleased to be taking the next step through our new partnership with BEIS in fulfilment of this ambition.

The 3 projects receiving funding are as follows:

  • Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure will receive £14.406 million, through the GHNF, for a scheme that will use the burning of non-recycled household waste to generate electricity and heating
  • in Hull, £12.957 million has been awarded through the GHNF towards a heat network that will reduce carbon emissions by more than 2,000 tonnes per year, delivering an additional 22GWH of electricity to 46 public and private sector customers
  • Wigan Council has secured £2.655 million from the Heat Networks Investment Project to develop a ground source heat pump system, which will provide heating and hot water to a new £190 million redevelopment project in the town centre

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