New VNEB District Heating Feasibility Study released

September 2013: Building on the November 2012 Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea (VNEB) Energy Masterplan (7.8MB) (also see a previous post here on the earlier Opportunity Area Planning Framework for VNEB), a more detailed  District Heating Feasibility Study has now been prepared for Wandsworth borough council and has been published online on the London Heat Map website.

The Nov 2012 study set out that the “Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area (VNEB OA) includes some of the highest density, large-scale development anywhere in London. As such, it offers huge potential for the development of a coherent, low carbon energy supply system.”

Key recommendations at the time included:

  • To implement kick-start networks based around early loads in three locations, with routes identified as i. Lambeth ii. Central iii Battersea
  • To continue dialogue with the new US Embassy development to show that a district energy network could be developed with benefits for the area and the Embassy.
  • To open discussions to reinstate the hydraulic link to the Pimlico District Heating Undertaking Energy Centre – this is referring to a tunnel under the Thames which originally supplied waste heat from Battersea Power Station to the Pimlico District Heating system on the north side of the river (see more on this here and here).

Building on this the new 2013 District Heating Feasibility Study seeks to demonstrate the “commercial case both for individual developers and a centralised operator of a district heating network” examining opportunities for two potential heat network options “the developers’ non-networked approach (as expressed in individual site energy strategy documents)… Heat prices are then set to offer a fixed level of whole life cost benefit to developers connecting to the system. Second, the economic performance of heat delivery for the central scheme operator is demonstrated based on the heat prices identified from the developer perspective.”

Phasing of the build-out of the networks is considered alongwith an investment analysis of the different network options.  Key to the recommendations sets out on page of the report is identifying a “project champion’ within the delivery vehicle to provide impetus and encouragement to the private sector to participate in the scheme”.

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