Energy boost: Pipes laid for Nine Elms low-carbon heat network

Published: Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Residents and businesses in Nine Elms will soon benefit from a more sustainable type of heating thanks to a District Heating Network being installed underground.

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In the pipeline: Connecting buildings in Nine Elms

Work is now underway to install 1.5km of pre-insulated steel pipes to connect buildings in Embassy Gardens and The Residence to the energy centre at the US Embassy.

This low-carbon heat network will be in place by May 2021, providing heating to hundreds of local properties and removing the reliance on energy-consuming individual boilers.

By decentralising the energy network and connecting neighbouring buildings, this way of providing heat to properties is more efficient with lower CO2 emissions than traditional fuel sources.

From the start, Wandsworth Council has worked with partners to ensure that new development in Nine Elms was sustainable, identifying early the opportunity for a District Heating Network which used energy efficiently and minimised wastage.

'Building sustainability into plans'

The roll-out of the heat network in Nine Elms is in line with targets to reduce carbon emissions set out in Wandsworth Council's Environment and Sustainability Strategy and the London Plan.

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council said: “Seeing this district heating network taking shape shows the importance of being forward-looking and building sustainability into local development plans – it has tangible benefits for residents as well as meeting our ambitions for a cleaner environment.

“This system helps us on the way to being a carbon neutral organisation by 2030 and we’ll continue to do all we can to support the wider borough to reduce carbon emissions wherever possible.”

The council worked with partners in Nine Elms including the GLA and local developers to agree the heating network and commission ENGIE as the provider. The £30 million project involves ENGIE designing, building, operating and maintaining the district energy scheme.

Andrew Hart, Managing Director for ENGIE’s Urban Energy business, said: “We are thrilled to be kickstarting work on this monumental project for Wandsworth Council.

“This is one of the capital’s largest brownfield regeneration sites and the new low carbon heat network will not only save residents and businesses money on their energy bills; it will play a pivotal role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting with London’s, and indeed the UK’s, net zero carbon ambitions.”

Olivia Payne, Head of Sales for Embassy Gardens, said: "The district heating network coming into effect at the US Embassy is integral to powering Embassy Gardens and a big factor of Nine Elms’ sustainable infrastructure. Its arrival will have a significant impact on reducing our neighbourhood’s carbon emissions – efficiently aiding our efforts in providing homes with eco-friendly credentials and supporting the UK’s pledge to be carbon zero by 2050.”

An additional branch of pipework is being installed across Ponton Road to enable a future connection for sites developing in the area to the west of the energy centre.

Find out more about Nine Elms

Centralised: ENGIE engineers are installing and maintaining the energy scheme