Cheshire East Heat Networks

Developing three local heat networks to reduce local carbon footprints and keep residents warm.

550 t
Est. annual reduction in carbon
emissions (tonnes CO2 eq)

Heat network’s insulated pipe system
Alderley Park
Stock image: Crewe

Cheshire East Council's story

Cheshire East Council is working to develop heat networks in various forms to give the borough the best base to transition away from gas as a primary heat source in public, industrial and domestic buildings.

We have presented three key examples of proposed and operational heat works which include the Crewe Heat Network, Alderley Park Heat Network, and Garden Village Heat Network.

The Crewe Heat Network is currently within the procurement and pre-construction services phase, it is intended to connect four buildings owned by Cheshire East Council and potentially other publicly used buildings. Powered by a combination of a gas-fired combined heat and power engine and an air source heat pump the network will initially provide carbon savings circa 350tCO2e per annum, however as the technologies and their economics improve the replacement energy sources are expected to reduce the carbon intensity of the network towards an eventual zero over time. Due to the difficulties experienced in the retrofit of existing buildings, including two listed buildings, this project has required significant grant funding to be economically viable.

The Alderley Park Heat Network was developed to optimise one already in existence to reduce waste heat and carbon emissions. While the heat source remains natural gas powering combined heat and power units, the network will show a carbon reduction of over 200 tCO2e per annum over forty years and provide the science park with a significant financial saving.

The North Cheshire Garden Village Heat Network will service the settlement, powered by ground source heat pumps located in a central energy centre and can provide all the space heating and hot water for the site. This network is expected to provide a carbon saving as well as a financial saving to residents with an added benefit of reducing the electricity capacity required for the settlement compared to individual air source heat pumps on each property.

Useful learnings from Cheshire East Council

During the research stage of the project, we learnt a significant amount from other likeminded authorities to learn how they approached their respective projects, what tips they may have or anything they might have done differently in hindsight.

We also ensured that we had sufficient information from other examples of projects.

Engagement with experts in the field was key, we engaged with our Scandinavia colleagues to better understand the future trajectory for heat and develop a greater understanding of the market.

We ensured we had a fully developed, clear strategy and aim for what we wanted to achieve, as well as future proofing plan for how to maintain the resource long term.

Key points
- Clear vision
- Engagement with all key stakeholders (Councillors, senior officers, planners etc).
- Embedding the concept into plans very early on, establishing a clear narrative around regeneration plans and create links between the concept and wider projects.

Cheshire East Council's metrics

Tonnes of CO2e saved per year.
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