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Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
Workington,
Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ

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First stage of heat exchange project gets underway

4 December 2014

Allerdale Borough Council has recruited a team of Icelandic experts to launch the first stage of an energy exchange project which could heat thousands of homes and businesses.

The Council has been awarded £147,000 by the Department of Energy and Climate Change  and Britain’s Energy Coast to conduct a feasibility study to ensure the initiative is practically and economically viable. If so, plans will be made to take waste heat from industry in Workington and use it to bring warmth to community buildings, houses, shops and leisure facilities. The study will also investigate other types of heat supply technologies, including marine source heat pumps, biomass and combined heat and power.

LWRC/Mannvit, an Icelandic company which specialises in low CO2 technologies and district heat projects, was chosen from 10 tender applicants. They are working in partnership with Caine Consulting, a Workington-based engineering company, to undertake the study. Their specialists are looking for more of the town’s businesses to take part in a short energy survey – and, in return, they can benefit from free advice on their current heating systems.

Councillor Mark Fryer, Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, and a board member at Britain’s Energy Coast, which is a partner in the project, said: “District energy schemes like this are commonplace in many countries – 99.9% of Reykjavik as a city, for example, served by a district heat network and Iceland’s economy was transformed when the country took a low-cost-low-carbon route.

“The scope for this project is amazing. From the Council’s point of view, I want to see the new swimming pool and leisure centre in Workington heated through this scheme eventually – which would save us enough money to be able to offer free swims to all children. On top of that, there could be the potential to heat entire housing estates, public buildings like the Carnegie Theatre, and private businesses. This is the sort of incentive that will encourage companies to relocate to West Cumbria and that means jobs, investment and a boost for the local economy.”

The Heat Networks Distribution Unit (HNDU), which has provided the majority of the funding, has been set up by the Government with the specific aim of increasing the uptake of district energy schemes within the UK. The assessors have said the Allerdale bid is strong because it creates a good opportunity for a range of options for both heat suppliers and heat users. Waste heat can be recovered and fed into the heat network providing an unexpected revenue stream for companies.

Sigurhjörtur Sigfússon, Chief Executive of Mannvit, said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to participate in this extremely interesting initiative in Workington. We believe it will result in a wide variety of opportunities for the municipality and its inhabitants by increasing the utilisation of green energy for further investment and providing an improved standard of living".

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey added: “Recovering wasted heat from industrial plants or landfill sites means we can heat our homes and businesses more efficiently, as well as helping to drive down energy bills. Improving the way we heat our buildings and helping local authorities fund innovative and more efficient ways of supplying lower carbon heat will also reduce our dependency on costly, imported gas.”

Workington businesses and community buildings which are interested in getting involved in the project should contact Debbie Cosgrove at Allerdale Borough Council on 01900 702772.

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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ