Liverpool City Council has won a Government grant to support the development of two heat networks at Paddington Village and Liverpool Waterfront.
The grant of £72,000 from the Heat Network Development Unit, part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, is intended to cover the costs of a specialist project manager to work across both schemes.
Paddington Village’s heat network is currently out to tender, while a feasibility study is due on the Waterfront network.
According to documents put to the council’s cabinet, there are “early indications that there is strong private sector interest” for the Waterfront project, and that there will be support “both for an invest-to-earn business case, but also as a low carbon solution taking heat from the River Mersey”.
Currently advice on the development of the heat networks is being given by external companies, but the council said the grant will enable it “to embed a person, or persons, within city council structures, to develop the expertise, contracts and change management processes”.
In July, Peel Energy announced it would be developing a heat network at Liverpool Waters, under the name Mersey Heat. The first phase of the network will be centred on existing buildings around Princes Dock along with planned new developments along the waterfront. The heat network will support space heating and hot water provision within the buildings. Peel also has a heat network at MediacityUK.
Nationally there is a policy and funding drive to introduce more local heat networks across the UK, to improve the resilience of energy generation, reduce carbon and ensure heat supplies that are not currently exploited become more embedded in UK energy and power mix.
However, Liverpool City Council points out that “heat networks have significant capital costs and operational costs, and only projects that show a strong business case for long-term income generation would go forward”.
Two further reports are due to come before Liverpool’s cabinet in spring 2019; the results of the Waterfront heat network feasibility study, and the business case for the establishment of an independent energy services company for Paddington Village.