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Council considers heat network

Bolton Council has secured Government funding to assess whether the town centre could benefit from a combined heat and power (CHP) scheme.

The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) has backed the scheme to use Viridor’s Raikes Lane energy-from-waste plant in Bolton (pictured) to heat buildings in the town centre.

The feasibility study, taking place between October and December, will establish whether the network would be technically and financially viable.

It will cost £55,000, with the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s heat network delivery unit contributing £36,180 and the remainder from GMWDA and the council.

Council executive cabinet member for regeneration and resources Ebrahim Adia said the CHP scheme could save money, reduce emissions and cut the council’s carbon footprint.

“It would be the first scheme of its kind in Greater Manchester,” he said. “A similar scheme in Coventry has been operating successfully for the past few years and we are speaking to them to benefit from their experience.”

If the study is successful, heat could be transmitted by pipes from the Raikes Lane site into the town centre and back.

The study will look at the heat mapping, masterplanning and technical analysis undertaken to date.

The report will include estimated costs, system performance and a cash-flow model, providing analysis to enable the council to decide which projects will progress to more detailed technical and financial modelling.

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