Contractor on Board for UK-first Renewable Energy Scheme
A contractor has been appointed to build a UK-first renewable energy scheme which will slash annual carbon emissions by more than a thousand tonnes.
South Tyneside Council has awarded the contract to construct the groundbreaking Viking Energy Network at Jarrow to Colloide Engineering Systems Ltd.
The innovative scheme would work by harnessing low-grade heat from the River Tyne and exporting it to 11 council-owned buildings in Jarrow, including high-rise flats, schools and sheltered housing.
The project would slash annual carbon emissions by an estimated 1,035 tonnes and save around half a million pounds a year.
The Council's Cabinet appointed Colloide following a competitive tender process.
Detailed designs have been drawn up for the system, which combines 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.
Cllr Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, with responsibility for climate change, said: "The appointment of a contractor is an exciting milestone; we are delighted to welcome Colloide on board and look forward to working together on this highly innovative project.
"This district heating system will be the first of its kind in the country and we're keen to drive it forward.
"The scheme has now been fully designed and a planning application has been submitted."
The council declared a climate emergency last year and pledged to take all necessary steps to make South Tyneside Council become carbon neutral by 2030.
Stacey Drennan, Colloide's Business Development and Bid Manager, said: "We are delighted to be working alongside South Tyneside Council on this cutting-edge renewable energy scheme.
"As a company with a vision to improve our environment through sustainable engineering solutions, our involvement in this project is a welcome addition to our portfolio of innovative, low carbon projects.
"This is an exciting project that will deliver significant cost savings and slash carbon emissions by harnessing low-grade heat from the river which will help drive the Council towards carbon neutrality by 2030."
An energy centre serving the network will be built on an existing council-owned brownfield site at Jarrow Staithes on the south bank of the River Tyne.
Cllr Atkinson added: "This project is unique in that it combines the three renewable technologies, ensuring minimal use of fossil fuels.
"It should also run close to carbon neutral for much of the summer by using electricity generated by the solar farm to run the heat pump. Any surplus electricity would be used in council buildings.
"The district heating system would heat 11 buildings around the town, including three of our residential tower blocks and two schools.
"It will be a key component in our drive to become carbon neutral by 2030."