Cofely has signed a 25 year contract with Leicester City Council (LCC) to link and extend four existing district heating schemes across the City of Leicester.
The work will be delivered through a new subsidiary company, Leicester District Energy Company, with an investment of £14 m by Cofely, a GDF SUEZ company, and additional funding from the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP).
The project will allow LCC to improve performance of its existing district heating schemes significantly broaden the use of low carbon heating within Leicester.
The low carbon energy schemes are due to go live during 2012, serving 3,000 dwellings across six housing estates, as well as 15 civic buildings, through 7 km of insulated pipework. When all of the first phases are delivered (including the City Council, the University and the Penitentiary centre), the scheme will use a combination of over 5 MW of low carbon gas-fired combined heat & power (CHP) and biomass boilers to achieve CO2
emissions savings of 12,000 tonnes per annum.
A second phase of the project will extend the scheme to include HMP Leicester and the University of Leicester. Cofely will assume operational responsibility for the existing schemes in late spring 2011.
'Leicester already has a strong environmental reputation and we have been named as the UK's second most sustainable city,' said Cllr Paul Westley, cabinet lead for housing at LCC. 'I am delighted we have agreed a scheme with Cofely which will give secure, efficient and reliable heat to tenants and leaseholders over the next 25 years. LCC are enabling the scheme to provide the same opportunity for many other buildings and schools, particularly in the City Centre and also, in time, University of Leicester and the HMP Leicester who both share our vision,' he added.
Dr Emma Fieldhouse, environmental manager at the University of Leicester added: 'Incorporating CHP into the University's operations will help us to achieve at least a 10 per cent decrease in our carbon footprint, taking us closer to our own strategic carbon emissions reduction of 60 per cent by 2020'.
Simon Woodward, chief executive of Cofely District Energy, said: 'We're delighted to have this opportunity to build on the impressive sustainability initiatives already implemented by LCC. In linking the four existing district heating schemes we will be able maximise the efficiency of the CHP and biomass plant to achieve even greater carbon savings. The development of a large scale district energy scheme in Leicester has been a long term vision of the City Council and its partners. I am therefore delighted that the spirit of long term partnership embraced by our proposals, coupled with our innovative integrated delivery solution, has been selected by the Council.'