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Southwark heat network project awarded funding to ensure nothing goes to waste

17 May 2022

Today’s announcement confirms further funding awards to Veolia Southwark heat networks, working in partnership with Southwark Council, that will turn unrecyclable waste into affordable low carbon heat for thousands of homes, local businesses and public buildings.

Energy from Waste (EfW) plants tackle two key challenges as we move towards a more sustainable society: waste and climate change. Not only do they deliver significant low carbon electricity, but they also process waste that would otherwise end up in landfill. The generation of electricity results in high temperature waste heat which can be captured and used to heat our homes and buildings. Finally, the ash produced as a by-product can be used as aggregate in the construction sector.

Southwark Council’s partner, Veolia, has been awarded over £16 million to bring an EfW sourced, low-carbon, heat network to a new area of Southwark, supplying heating and hot water to eleven existing estates and five schools that currently depend on gas boilers. The extension will also support the future growth to a new regeneration area aimed to accommodate 20,000 new homes over the next 15 years.

The project is subject to further agreement with SELCHP Ltd, the existing EfW energy centre, and will involve some modifications to improve efficiencies and enable further heat extraction and the construction of a new six-kilometre district heat network.

The proposed network will provide immediate and long-term carbon reductions to these developments, while providing good value to residents and businesses. The network is expected to deliver on average 11,100 tonnes of carbon savings each year.

Cllr Helen Dennis, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency and Sustainable Development, said: “Seventy-nine per cent of emissions in Southwark are from buildings, so to achieve our ambition of being net-zero by 2030, it’s crucial that we take steps to green all of our homes and buildings and support the shift away from gas.

We are delighted to see this significant project move forward to do just that on eleven of our estates and at five of our schools in the Old Kent Road and North Peckham area. This will provide a sustainable and affordable heating and hot water solution, which will keep our students and residents warm, whilst also making a massive reduction in the borough’s carbon emissions.”

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, Cabinet Member for Council Homes and Homelessness, added: “Right across the council we are working to tackle the climate emergency, and this major project will deliver a win-win for our residents – keeping their homes warm whilst also making huge savings in our greenhouse gas emissions.”

Gavin Graveson, Veolia Senior Executive Vice-President, Northern Europe Zone, said: "Decarbonisation of the domestic heat supply is a key area where the UK can advance progress towards the net-zero carbon goal by increasing the adoption of heat networks. The proposed expansion of the existing Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) derived heat network, to a further eleven estates across the London Borough of Southwark, has now been made possible with support from BEIS and Triple Point Heat Networks.  This significant new heat network project will deliver low carbon affordable heat to over 3,000 Southwark homes, local schools, and enable commercially viable connections to future private and commercial customers."

Page last updated: 17 May 2022