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London's first combined energy-from-waste heat and power network planned

Plans for London’s first local authority heat-from-waste network have been announced.

Southwark Council and Veolia Environmental Services are investing £7m to build a heating network so that heat and hot water generated at the South East London Combined Heat and Power energy recovery facility (SELCHP) can be transported to nearby homes.

SELCHP, which has generated only electricity since its construction in the 1990s, processes 430,000 tonnes of waste each year. The heating network is due to be completed by the end of 2013, and will supply heating and hot water to five estates in Southwark.

This will allow existing gas boilers on the five estates to be switched off, resulting in a carbon emissions saving of around 8,000 tonnes per annum.

Veolia has invested £5m into a pipe network and boiler house modifications, while SELCHP Ltd has spent £2m.

The scheme will last 20 years, and the council will then decide whether to continue or revert to gas.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “It is fantastic that SELCHP will soon be providing low carbon, low cost heating to homes through a new heat network. Local heat and power supplies not only save Londoners money and reduce carbon emissions but also help to provide London with a more secure, sustainable, cost-effective energy supply.”

Estelle Brachlianoff, Veolia Environment director of Northern Europe and UK country director said there was capacity for more buildings to become part of the SELCHP network and that the greater the numbers of customers, the greater the efficiency.

  • Use of renewable fuels in CHP, including biomass, sewage gas, other biogases, municipal waste and refuse derived fuels, increased from 7-8% between 2011 and 2012, according to the Digest of UK Energy Statistics. The CHP industry as a whole grew by 2.8% in the same period.

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