SSE Energy Solutions is to develop a new £25m low carbon district heating and electricity scheme in Aire Valley, Leeds.
Announced at the Decarbonisation Summit 2022, the scheme aims to serve local businesses including Yorkshire Water who it is estimated will save 5000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year alone - the equivalent annual electricity use of 3,200 homes.
Located south of Leeds city centre, Aire Valley is home to around 400 businesses employing around 15,000 people, mainly in manufacturing, wholesale and distribution.
The energy network is planned to be served by enfinium’s new Skelton Grange Energy-from-Waste facility which is currently under construction with HZI and scheduled for completion in 2025.
SSE is exploring potential opportunities to capture waste heat from the enfinium Energy-from-Waste facility and distribute it via insulated pipes under the ground to local businesses. Some local businesses may also benefit by being supplied with lower cost electricity directly from the Energy-from-Waste facility.
Heat networks are a core part of the UK Government’s net zero strategy and currently provide about 2% of the UK’s heat. It is estimated by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) that around 18% of UK heat will need to come from heat networks by 2050, if the UK is to meet its carbon targets cost effectively.
“Six months on from COP26, SSE Energy Solutions is committed to delivering the real-world actions and infrastructure needed to reach net zero. Heat networks are a vital part of that commitment.
“The Decarbonisation Summit 2022 - a two-day event bringing together representatives from across business, industry and politics to discuss how the UK can deliver on its carbon reduction promises - is the ideal backdrop to announce a project that puts sustainability at its very core.”
“The scale of growth and investment required in sustainable and renewable energy infrastructure across the UK cannot be underestimated. We know the private sector has a big part to play and we stand ready to deliver on that potential. We’re excited to be part of Leeds and West Yorkshire’s transition to a zero-carbon heating future and exploring ways of unlocking new and plentiful heat sources that will benefit its communities, businesses and beyond.”
Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:
“This low carbon energy network is exactly the type of investment we need to see in West Yorkshire if we are to meet our ambitious target of a net zero carbon region by 2038 at the latest.
“And this is also fantastic for businesses in the Aire Valley, enabling them to lower their energy bills and increase their resilience and sustainability.”
Paul Green, Vice President of Business Development at enfinium, said:
“We are excited to be working with SSE Energy Solutions to explore ways of further enhancing the efficiency of our Skelton Grange Energy-from-Waste facility, and to assist in the decarbonisation of the surrounding industries in the local area. We look forward to seeing this project develop further over the coming months. Similar opportunities are being explored across our entire fleet whilst our Kemsley Energy-from-Waste facility already provides steam to the adjacent DS Smith paper mill.”
Thomas Hall, Head of Bioresources at Yorkshire Water, said:
“We’re delighted to be involved in this project, which will deliver significant benefits to our largest operational site at Knostrop. The energy network will enable our site to have its own supply of heat and electricity, protecting against rising energy bills and building resilience into our energy supply at Knostrop.
“Yorkshire Water is committed to its ambitious aim of becoming carbon net zero by 2030 and using low-cost, low-carbon, green energy will make a significant contribution to those aims.”