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Cardiff mulls waste-powered district heating system

Viridor Cardiff EFW facility

Cardiff City Council is set to launch a £26.5m district heating scheme for public and commercial buildings using energy generated by burning non-recyclable waste.

Its cabinet is to consider using power from the Trident Park Energy Recovery Facility, which burns non-recyclable waste from nine local authorities.

Cabinet member for clean streets and the environment Michael Michael [sic] said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Cardiff to develop new low-carbon energy infrastructure, fuelled by existing assets and facilities in the city.”

Michael said the project could save 5,600 tonnes a year of carbon, based on an assumed 5% saving on energy costs for the buildings connected to the network.

But the scheme would depend on funds from the UK and Welsh Governments, and the council’s ability to strike long-term contracts with users of the heat.

Trident Park produces 30MW of electricity, sufficient to power 50,000 homes, and was designed so that it could produce both heat and power.

It is owned and operated by Viridor, whose managing director of major contracts Chris Jonas said: “Our view is that all waste should be given a purpose and valued as a resource rather than rubbish.”

Cardiff’s cabinet will be asked to allocate an initial £4m towards the scheme, subject to the remaining money being secured from the Government and private sources.

The council said it was likely to become a major shareholder in an independent company created to own the heat network.

Based on studies made, Cardiff expected the scheme could be delivered in two phases.

The first would see heat pipes connected to public buildings south of the railway line that runs through the city centre, together with construction of a back-up facility for times when Trident Park is closed for maintenance. The second phase will bring heat to areas north and east of the railway line.

  • Read about the difficulties in establishing heat networks in the forthcoming issue of MRW

Readers' comments (1)

  • Sutton Council produced no less than 12 separate reports saying the heat network would fight fuel poverty. As soon as the council obtained planning permission it revealed that the price per kWh for heat was 14 pence . Roughly 300% more than the price of British Gas .

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