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Vital Energi to deliver new heat network in Bedfordshire

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The UK is set for another major heat network after a new Bedfordshire-based project received £16.9 million (€20.1 million) in funding from the Government’s Heat Networks Investment Project.
Vital Energi will deliver the new project which will take waste heat from the Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility and distribute this to nearby homes and commercial buildings.
Nick Gosling, chief strategy officer for Vital Energi, commented: “Energy from Waste (EfW) plants produce huge amounts of excess heat each year and harnessing this resource is one of the core ways we can make real, practical progress in meeting our carbon reduction targets.
“We are delighted to be working alongside Rookery South Limited and plant operator, Covanta Energy Europe, to harness and distribute the heat that their new EfW plant produces. The heat network project will provide reliable, non-fossil fuel dependent low carbon heat for homes plus a range of commercial customers, and will form an important long-life infrastructure asset for the area.”
The Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility is located in a former brick clay extraction pit near Stewartby and will provide a sustainable alternative to landfill as well as contributing to a more resilient, greener grid.
Vital Energi will be constructing the infrastructure which includes heat recovery equipment plus a resilience energy centre which will take heat from the Energy Recovery Facility and convert it into useable low temperature hot water. This hot water is then distributed through a below-ground, thermally efficient district heating network.
Minister for Business and Energy Lord Callanan said: “These projects will transform how tens of thousands of households and businesses keep their properties warm.
“By investing in cutting-edge low-carbon heating technologies we are helping to secure a lasting move away from using fossil fuels and protecting consumers from the costs that are driving up energy bills at a time of high global prices.”
The heat network will be future proofed for easy expansion to serve a number of local planned developments and could eventually be capable of delivering circa 30MW of heat to up to 12,000 homes and commercial buildings.