homenews and insights case studies centralised heat pump experience

Our centralised heat pump experience

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By SSE Energy Solutions
05 August 2022

Distributed Energy

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Heat pump technology can provide a resilient and efficient heat network system designed around developers needs’ that makes a major contribution to carbon reduction goals.

SSE has two innovative district heating schemes that utilise open loop ground source heat pumps, both approximately 1.7 MWth heating capacity which are “Riverlight” in Battersea and Wandsworth Riverside Quarter.

The schemes have both been used as key case studies in the Greater London Authority’s heat pump review. Both schemes use the same ground water chalk aquifer but have been designed using different network distribution philosophies which reflects on the operational performance of each network.

The two schemes extract heat from an aquifer on the south bank of the Thames. The aquifer in both cases has relatively low ground water flow, so offers good seasonal storage opportunities enabling us to draw heat from the aquifer in the winter and return heat back into the aquifer during the summer under cooling loads.


Both schemes utilise approximately 100m (deep) wells drilled into the aquifer. These are open loop systems which carry with them particular maintenance requirements. For each scheme, there are four ‘cold’wells and four ‘warm’ wells.

With multiple years experience, our Heat and Cooling team have been delivering multiple networks across the UK, helping to meet the significant challenge of decarbonising the heat sector. Our work with the respective developers on these sites included being involved in the design or construction process early on which ensured that commissioning of new phases could occur whilst the performance and integrity of the live network was protected.