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Southwark Council creates SELCHP heating network

August 2013: Industry newsletter Utility Week reports on Southwark Council’s heat network development using heat from the SELCHP energy from waste plant in nearby Lewisham (for full details, see earlier post here). The story relates:

“Councillor Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for transport, environment, and recycling said: “As the first London borough to take such a positive step, we are signalling our strong commitment to the reduction of carbon emissions and keeping Southwark an environmentally friendly zone.”

“Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said:” 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.”

The Financial Times have also covered the project with their own singular headline French rubbish scheme hots up to cut London energy bills‘.

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22 January 2013: Lyn Brown, MP for West Ham, asked the following question in relation to the South East London Combined Heat and Power plant (SELCHP):

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had on the potential effects on human health in Newham of the operation of the South East London Combined Heat and Power incinerator.

Richard Benyon: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson), has not held any discussions on the potential effects on human health in Newham of the South East London Combined Heat and Power incinerator.

Energy from waste incinerators are regulated under environmental permits granted by the Environment Agency to meet the strict emissions standards of the waste incineration directive. The Environment Agency currently has no regulatory or compliance concerns regarding the performance of the South East London Combined Heat and Power incinerator and is not aware of any public health issues. Any potential effects on health would be a matter for the Environment Agency to assess in conjunction with the Health Protection Agency.

More on SELCHP here.

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Decentralised Heat and Power Points to London’s Energy Future

January 2014: Still a few days left to see BBC’s excellent Inside Out London programme. The first half covers the increasing levels of energy theft being observed by energy companies and -18 minutes in – the programme looks at potential future solutions to the provision of more affordable heat and power in London.

The growth in local energy solutions, such as combined heat and power (CHP) plants and the introduction of new district heating schemes are highlighted, including recent projects installed in Islington (Bunhill CHP) and the heat network constructed from the SELCHP waste to energy scheme, which transports low cost heat to 2,500 households in Southwark with an approximate 22% reduction in heating charges.

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London’s ‘first EfW DH network’

October 2013: A presentation made at BRE’s recent ‘Developing heat networks in the UK ‘ provides a little background – and a few images – behind the new Southwark district energy network taking waste heat from the SELCHP energy from waste (EfW) plant and directing to five nearby housing estates -presentation here (and directly here). Further information on the following post here.

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Southwark Heat Network to go ‘live’ in next few months

September 2013: Detailed interview in Inside Housing on the new SELCHP district heating project. “Southwark Council is one of the few landlords with ‘pipes in the ground’ for a new district heating system. One of the scheme’s masterminds is councillor Barrie Hargrove.” Points raised include:

  • The scheme is “looking at connecting before the winter period – October or November at the latest.”
  • The captured waste heat from SELCHP will go through a heat network to an five existing Southwark housing district heating network replacing heat produced from existing gas boilers. “It’s cheaper for the tenants and residents living in 2,500 homes as well, particularly for the council leaseholders because they’ll be paying 10 per cent less than the price of gas.”
  • The scheme “cost £7 million – Veolia have put the capital in, there’s no capital cost to the council. Council tenants and leaseholders pay Veolia for their heating bills. There will be a profit share between the council and Veolia.”

Read the full interview here.

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Patience brings London district heating rewards

August 2013: COSPP article giving a little more background to the SELCHP heat offtake scheme in Southwark (more of which here).

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Southwark Heat Network Update

July 2013: Deborah Collins, Strategic Director of Environment and Leisure of Southwark Council provided a useful update of the Southwark Heat Network project at the recent BASELondon show.

1,200 Southwark properties will benefit from the district heating network, which will be fed from currently wasted heat from the SELCHP waste to energy plant, based in neighbouring Lewisham. Work has been ongoing on installing the heat mains for the scheme and it is anticipated that this month will see the completion of all remaining pipes being installed and final boiler room modifications. Testing and calibration of the scheme will run over August and September with October being the target month for heat delivery to residents.

Further information can be viewed on the following presentation.

Southwark will also see further decentralised energy systems in the borough, with CHP and PV systems being installed on the new Elephant and Castle leisure centre and also biomass and PV used in Camberwell at the new Sacred Heart school development.

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Southwark Heat Services Contract Agreed

April 2013: Southwark has recently agreed and signed a ‘Head of Terms’ agreement on a heat services contract with Veolia for “the provision of low carbon heat from the South East London Combined Heat and Power (SELCHP)”. As set out in a 2012 press release from the council, the project is to to create a district energy network which will transport heat – that is currently wasted – from Veolia’s  South East London Combined Heat and Power (SELCHP) Energy from Waste plant in Lewisham, to serve six housing estate in Southwark. Further information on the project can be seen in an earlier post here.

Following a period of consultation last year with leaseholders setting out the proposals and projected reductions in heating costs (see documents heresee the ‘Statement of Case’ document in particular to the proposed reduction in heat prices to tenants), the council has now completed negotiations with Veolia. A new Southwark report sets out some of the key requirements of the agreement. These include that:

  • The cost of heat could be no more than the cost of heating using the current gas boilers. This has been agreed.
  • There could be no capital investment required from the Council. This has been agreed.
  • The full operational risk of the system should be taken by the contractor. This has been agreed.
  • A price indexation mechanism should ensure that the cost of the heat rises less than the expected rise in energy prices. This has been agreed
  • There should be significant environmental benefits including a reduction in CO2 emissions and local pollution. This has been agreed.
  • The Council should share in the benefits of any expansion of the heat network.

The contract will expire in April 2033 at the same time as the boroughs waste PFI contract with Veolia. This project has clearly taken considerable time and effort by all concerned, but particularly Southwark officers, and they should be congratulated on seeing this project through. Getting heat output from the SELCHP plant after such a long time  (the plant is some 20 years old now)  is a considerable ‘win’ and should hopefully provide energy cost reductions to Southwark residents and broader environmental benefits in terms of carbon reduction.

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Heygate Energy Strategy

April 2013:  The Mayor and Southwark Council have recently given final planning permission to the development of the Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle which, as the following GLA press release states, will see the “23 acre site demolished and redeveloped delivering up to 2,469 new homes, a quarter of which will be affordable, as well as new shops, offices, leisure and community facilities and a park.”

As one of the largest regeneration projects in the country, there’s been considerable focus on the development – including the energy strategy for the project (details on previous posts here and here).  The final energy assessment report for the development (and updated addendum) can be accessed at Southwark’s Planning website (and directly here Strategy, Addendum).

A site-wide district heating network is being proposed connecting all apartments and commercial units supplied from a single energy centre.  The energy centre building would also include an  education centre and cafe. Which is nice…

Further information is contained in the Mayor’s Planning report on the application – paras 210 onward highlighting that:

  • A potential to link the heat network to the proposed SELCHP district heating network, in Bermondsey has been explored. This is unlikely to be viable in the near term. The applicant has committed to designing the energy infrastructure to allow future connection to SELCHP should it prove viable at a later stage.
  • A phased installation of combined heat and power (CHP) is being proposed in line with the phasing of the development. This would begin with a 263 kWe gas fired CHP unit being switched on during 2019. This would then be followed by a 985 kWe gas fired CHP unit being switched on in 2021 as the lead heat source for the site heat network.
  • The preferred renewable energy strategy for the site  is to use biomethane fuel supplied over the gas network. This renewable fuel would be produced and injected into the national grid elsewhere and then purchased as a credit to supply some or all of the gas consumption requirements of the CHP plant and gas boilers in the energy centre.
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£67.23m of DE projects to be delivered in London

22 April 2013: A useful update on some of London’s key decentralised energy (DE) projects being supported by the Mayor has been produced for the GLA Investment and Performance Board meeting taking place tomorrow (23 April). The Mayor’s Decentralised Energy Project Delivery Unit (DEPDU) is a three-year programme set up in August 2011 with €3.3m funding, 90% of which was secured from the European Investment Bank’s ELENA facility.

The paper (link to paper, direct here) sets out that the GLA has a contractual target with the EIB to deliver £67.23m of DE projects to market before the 3rd of August 2014.   The following projects as of 31st December 2012 have been taken to market through the GLA’s Decentralised Energy for London programme and, as agreed with the EIB as eligible projects. Together, they represent £42.3m, or 64% of the final ELENA target.

Project Eligible CAPEX (£) Construction completed CO2 savings (t/year) Project stage
Islington Bunhill Phase 1 £6,499,107 2011 2,950 Operational
Cranston Estate £7,800,000 2011 1,200 Operational
Crystal Palace CHP £1,490,000 2011 1,850 Operational
Olympic Fringe Extension £1,350,000 2011 960 Operational
Royal Free £6,073,621 2012 4,060 Operational
Brent South Kilburn £17,170,000 Unknown* 835 Procurement
Lewisham Goldsmiths College £1,911,706 2014 947 Construction
TOTALS £42,294,434 12,800

The paper states that when “fully developed and in operation, these projects will contribute with 4.7 MW of installed electrical capacity (and 35.7 MW of installed thermal capacity (enough to provide heat and power to 6,000 homes) to London’s generation from DE sources and will save up to an estimated 12,800 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

“In addition, the DEPDU is also currently supporting the development of an additional 22 projects with a combined value of £304m. Of these, five are in advanced stages of development, and are expected to be brought to market within the following 12 months.”

Project Estimated CAPEX (£) Construction completed CO2 savings (t/year) Project stage
Euston Road £7,025,000 2014 4,594 Procurement
Westminster PDHU / Whitehall £5,480,000 2015 5,500 Business case
SELCHP £6,000,000 2013 3,395 Construction
LSIP £2,000,000 2014 1,584 Procurement
Haringey North Tottenham £8,060,000 2016 5,148 Pre-feasibility
TOTALS £28,565,000 20,200

When fully developed and in operation, the paper states “these projects will contribute with 3.2 MW of installed electrical capacity and 90 MW of installed thermal capacity (enough to provide heat and power to 14,000 and 4,500 homes respectively) to London’s generation from DE sources and will save up to an estimated 20,200 tonnes of CO2 per annum.”
The paper goes on to say that the “paper does not include projections on jobs created. However, it is our intention to incorporate estimates of jobs created for future reporting and we will work with GLA Economics to establish a robust methodology.”
Further information on many of these projects can be found by searching on this website.

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Getting into Hot Water…

March 2013: Presentation made at the the recent Combined Heat and Power Association (CHPA) district heating conference, by Bob Fiddik, Sustainable Development & Energy Team Leader at Croydon Council, giving some valuable insights into the challenges faced when developing heat networks. The presentation includes:

  • Some of the history behind the failure of the SELCHP energy from waste plant to develop the expected district heat network anticipated when it was built – and the recent work now being undertaken to help turn this around
  • The unhappy circumstances that led to the stalling of the hugely exciting Elephant & Castle heat network project, and
  • An update to the major district heating scheme currently being planned for Croydon.

Slide 14 of the presentation sets out – as challenging as circumstances have been in the past – things are not unfortunately getting easier:

Download ‘Getting into hot water…not always that easy’ here.

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Boroughs pushing forward decentralised energy

November 2012: In addition to a supporting 25 decentralised energy projects in the capital, London boroughs are also working on some innovative projects to support the uptake of district heating.

Two recent projects worth mentioning are Newham’s work on establishing special planning guidance – a Local Development Order (LDO) to help streamline the process for a proposed new heat network running ” predominately along public highway from Beckton to Royal Docks, Canning Town and Custom House, West Ham and Stratford, including a short length of the Greenway between Manor Road and Stratford High Street.” Further information on the LDO project is on Newham’s website here; in a report to the council here; and in a Newham Council meeting paper here.

Southwark council have also been working on developing a contract with the SELCHP waste to energy plant to offtake heat from the plant which will be supplied to a number of estates (further information on this project in an earlier post here). Details of the contract can be viewed in council papers here.

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