Progress Continues on Carbon-Cutting Schemes
The schemes - in each of the borough's towns, South Shields, Hebburn and Jarrow - will collectively cut carbon emissions by almost 4,000 tonnes a year.
The Viking Energy Network Jarrow, which will harness low-grade heat from the River Tyne and convert it into useful energy, is expected to be fully operational by early summer.
Three high-rise residential blocks will be among the public sector buildings connected to the network.
The system is the first of its kind in the UK to combine a river source heat pump, a combined heat and power (CHP) back-up system, a 1 MW solar farm, and a private wire electrical network with storage battery, and will result in an annual reduction in carbon emissions of around 1,035 tonnes.
The Hebburn renewable energy network is also due to complete later this year, with construction of the energy centre underway. The council is continuing to work with the Coal Authority and Northumbria and Durham Universities to evaluate options for using geothermal heat from minewater in the scheme, which will save around 319 tonnes of carbon a year.
Cllr Margaret Meling, Lead Member for Economic Growth, Skills and Climate Change, said: "We're really proud of all three of our renewable energy schemes, which represent our commitment to innovation and sustainability.
"We're reducing carbon emissions while increasing our renewable capabilities and moving to cleaner, greener sources for our energy supplies.
"With both the Viking and Hebburn networks nearing completion, and with feasibility studies showing the Holborn scheme is viable, this is a really exciting time.
"Collectively, these projects are going to make a significant impact in our drive towards carbon neutrality and help us fulfil our ambition of creating strong communities where people live in clean, green spaces."
Following a successful testing and feasibility phase at the Holborn Renewable Energy Network, the council is currently finalising a Detailed Project Delivery study in preparation for a funding application to the Heat Network Development Unit which will be submitted in the coming weeks.