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District heating to extend to new student development

Published on Thursday, July 21, 2016

WORK to extend Leicester’s citywide district heating network, and create its first private connection, is due to begin next week.

The project will create a 300m extension of the existing Leicester District Energy Scheme and provide a new connection to a major new student accommodation development on the site of the former Southgates bus depot.

The new connection, which will serve over 550 student flats, is expected to save over 200 tonnes of CO2 per year compared to a conventional gas fired boiler system.

Work will be carried out by ENGIE (formerly Cofely) which developed and installed the city’s existing district heating scheme for Leicester City Council, in collaboration with the University of Leicester.

This will involve closing sections of Millstone Lane to traffic while pipework is installed. Work will begin on site on Monday (July 25), with Millstone Lane closed at the Pocklingtons Walk end from August 1. Diversions will be in place, with access maintained for affected residents and businesses.

The work is expected to take around 16 weeks to complete.

The Leicester District Energy Scheme already comprises a 7km city network, with a further three smaller networks covering an additional 7km in outlying areas. It provides energy-efficient heat to 2,800 homes, along with council offices, schools, De Montfort Hall and the University of Leicester.

Through its use of combined heat and power plants, the scheme has helped reduce citywide carbon emissions by over 6,500 tonnes per annum.

Cllr Adam Clarke, Assistant City Mayor for energy and sustainability, said: “The district energy scheme is a key part of our ambition to make Leicester a low carbon city, as outlined in our recently-published sustainability action plan.

“This extension to the new development at Southgates represents a significant expansion of the network. We want to build on this and work with more developers, and other local organisations, to further extend the benefits of combined heat and power further across the city.”

Paul Rawson, ENGIE’s UK divisional CEO for Energy Solutions, said: “We are very proud to be involved in this project. It’s an excellent example of what can be achieved with the vision and ambition that Leicester City Council has shown.”