Harton & Forest View Primary Schools

Local Gov't • South Tyneside

South Tyneside Council are installing Ground Source Heat Pumps and Photovoltaics in the Harton & Forest View Primary Schools with underfloor heating.

  • Aerial view of roof showing extent of photo voltaic installation.
  • Close-up view of photo voltaic panels being installed on the roof.
  • The borehole rig working on the ground source heat pump system.

South Tyneside Council's story

The project is to install Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) and PV into two relatively new schools with underfloor heating (UFH). The intention is the GSHP becomes the majority heat source for the building UFH & VT circuit, leaving the gas boiler system as backup if required.

It was desirable to modify the existing BMS system to allow the GSHP more control authority than a simple "lead boiler" approach.

Each plant room has an 80kW pellet boiler which were not used due to previous operational issues and have been removed to free space. Project funding is from Salix public sector decarbonisation fund which means timescales are tight; latest completion was 30 September 2021.

At Harton Primary School, South Tyneside Council have replaced a redundant biomass boiler with a ground source heat pump system that will serve the school's underfloor heating. The new system has been designed with a 1000 litre buffer vessel, heat meters and variable speed pumps, connected to twenty 180-metre deep boreholes. It is targeting a carbon saving of 141.5 tonnes per year.

New solar photovoltaic panels will significantly reduce electricity demand from the grid. They generate electricity even on cloudy days. At peak conditions, they produce 700–800kWh per year and 280kp, which based on DECC guidelines, could save 0.542kg CO2 per kWh.

Forest View Primary School - Site Specific Data:
At Forest View Primary School, STC have installed a similar combination of ground source heat pump heating system and solar PV power generation. The heat pump system will bring an anticipated carbon saving of 105 tonnes per year and the solar PV will generate an expected 166kWp and save 0.542kg CO2 per kWh.

Useful learnings from South Tyneside Council

The initial research for this project was undertaken by Bobo Ng, STC, Energy Conservation and Strategy Officer, and developed by STC Asset Management team, including; Norman Waites, Nicholas John Davies, and Peter Dodds.

In delivering this project STC Asset Management has worked closely with H.T. Energy, A.R. Power, the Coal Authority, and DTA Consulting Engineers.

The following are some of the challenges presented by borehole drilling works: the geology and geotechnical issues; working in live school environment; working within a built-up urban area; drilling 36 100mm diameter boreholes to depth of 180m; the potential escape of mine gases and Unexploded Ordnance.

South Tyneside Council's metrics

CEEQUAL Assessment rating of Good, with an aspiration to achieve Very Good.
Reduction in carbon emissions per year (141 tonnes).

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Positive Impacts

Affordable Energy


South Tyneside

Response to climate crisis





Local Gov't, 250 to 10,000 people

Shared by

North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub

Updated Feb, 2024

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