SSE Energy Solutions and GT Energy developing proposal for heat networks powered by waste heat

Stoke-on-Trent could soon be heated by low carbon heat drawn from nearly 4kms beneath the earth’s surface.

As part of a partnership agreement between SSE Energy Solutions and GT Energy, proposals are currently being developed that could see a heat network powered by geothermal energy providing local customers with hot water and space heating.

The ground-breaking scheme has the potential to play a significant role in decarbonising heat supplies all across the Staffordshire city.

The announcement comes just weeks after SSE Energy Solutions unveiled a new project with National Grid that could help decarbonise heat networks by capturing waste heat from electricity transformers and providing heating for nearby homes and businesses.

It is estimated that the project could initially reduce heat network carbon emissions by more than 40% versus traditional gas-led systems. It is also said to have the potential to provide net-zero heat when applied to transformers served by 100% renewable electricity from wind or solar farms.

The Government’s recently published Heat and Buildings Strategy confirmed that heat networks should deliver at least 18% of low carbon heat by 2050 and the technology’s deployment – at scale – will be crucial to deliver net zero.

Heat Networks are unique in their ability to distribute heat captured from a variety of sources – including data centres, water courses and Energy from Waste plants, in addition to the geothermal wells and electricity transformers mentioned above.

In time though, as heat networks grow across towns and cities, we expect more and more low carbon waste heat sources to be connected, further improving supply security and keeping costs as low as possible for customers.

Both UK and Scottish governments have recently released details of their plans to create heat network zones in which the conditions can be created for efficient heat network deployment. 

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