First pipes to be laid in pioneering, energy-efficient heat network

“Because of our shared ambition for the region to be internationally recognised for indigenous and sustainable energy, we have set up a think-tank that will use its academic and industry expertise, aided by student and graduate internships, to evaluate new technologies and approaches, and to support those in other cities and countries looking to develop their own district heat networks.”

Professor Ieuan Ellis, Pro Vice-Chancellor

Staffordshire University has welcomed a new programme to bring sustainable, low carbon and low cost heat energy to Stoke-on-Trent.

Over the next 11 weeks, the first 700 metres of pipe will be laid underground between Leek Road and Boughey Road in Stoke. It is the first phase of four kilometres of piping around the University Quarter, which when completed in 2018, will mean that businesses and households can connect to a new source of heating without the need for gas boilers in their properties.

It is the first step in Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s innovative district heat network, a programme which won multi-million pound investment through the government’s City Deal that was secured by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership in 2014.

The first pipes now being laid will be powered via an energy centre off Leek Road. Longer term the project will look into ways of tapping into naturally forming underground geothermal energy, which would heat the network, helping to provide alternative, sustainable energy for households.

Council leader Dave Conway said: “A district heat network has the potential to cut the city’s carbon footprint by 12,500 tonnes per year – the equivalent of 2,500 hot air balloons. We’re now taking the first steps to make this a reality. It is an exciting time and a project that we should all get behind.”

Staffordshire University is currently exploring the potential to be an early adopter of the new district heat network system and to create a live demonstrator on campus. Professor Ieuan Ellis, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Staffordshire University, welcomed the launch of the scheme, which could cut commercial heating costs as well as creating new jobs in North Staffordshire.

He said: “Staffordshire University has a strong academic reputation in the area of renewable and sustainable energy systems and is already working closely with the city council and Nordic Heat to exchange knowledge, expertise and best practice relating to the city’s district heat network.

“Because of our shared ambition for the region to be internationally recognised for indigenous and sustainable energy, we have set up a think-tank that will use its academic and industry expertise, aided by student and graduate internships, to evaluate new technologies and approaches, and to support those in other cities and countries looking to develop their own district heat networks.”

David Frost, chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “It is great to see this pioneering project becoming a reality.”

  • The works will create some disruption to road users, but this will be kept to a minimum, with pipe installation taking place during evenings and weekends, and two-way flow of traffic maintained during the day where possible.

 

Contact

Maria Scrivens
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Public Relations
L600, Flaxman Building
College Road
Stoke-on-Trent
ST4 2DE
t: +44 (0)1782 294375
m: 07766 520339
e: m.c.scrivens@staffs.ac.uk