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Pump Procurement to Save Thousands

 

A key component of a UK-first renewable energy scheme will be purchased early to take advantage of additional savings of up to £150k a year.

 

The Viking Energy Network Jarrow is a highly innovative scheme that would extract heat from the River Tyne and export it to 11 council-owned buildings in Jarrow, South Tyneside.

The project would slash annual carbon emissions by an estimated 1,475 tonnes and save around half a million pounds a year.

 

South Tyneside Council's Cabinet last night approved the early procurement of the system's water source heat pump, which will allow the council to benefit from a government subsidy.

 

There is currently a Renewable Heat Incentive in place for the use of this type of renewable technology, which could generate additional savings of up to £150k a year.

 

Ordinarily, the equipment would be purchased following the appointment of the main scheme contractor, which is not scheduled until later this year.

 

However, to take advantage of this boost, the pump must be installed and connected to the network by March next year.

 

Cllr Ed Malcolm, Lead Member for Resources and Innovation, said: "It makes sense to approve the early purchase of the water source heat pump and to enable the council to meet the timescales to benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive.

 

"This district heating system is highly innovative; it will be the first of its kind in the country and we're keen to drive it forward.

 

"As it stands it will save around half a million pounds a year. If we meet the deadlines for the subsidy it could save up to £150,000 a year more over 20 years - that's three million pounds."

 

The multi-million-pound energy network would be the first 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.

 

The project has attracted a £3.5m ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) grant for its innovative approach and has been deemed viable following a feasibility study.

 

An energy centre would be built on the banks of the river and a series of ducts and pipes would distribute heat to the various sites. Detailed designs are now being drawn up.

 

South Tyneside Council is striving to become carbon neutral by 2030 and has developed a comprehensive climate change strategy including a five-year action plan.

 

Cllr Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, with responsibility for climate change, said: "Our drive towards carbon neutrality is strong and focused and we are implementing strategies that bring about real change.

 

"We continue to significantly reduce the amount of carbon being emitted whilst increasing our renewable capabilities with schemes like the Viking Energy Network, which will allow us to make the switch to cleaner, greener resources."

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