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Council decarbonisation projects to cut carbon emissions by 66%

South Norfolk Council and Broadland District Councils are embarking on three major decarbonisation projects with renewable heating expert Finn Geotherm.

Councillor Dan Roper, Portfolio Holder for Transformation & Organisational Development – Broadland District Council, Councillor Daniel Elmer, Deputy Leader of South Norfolk Council, and Guy Ransom, commercial director – Finn Geotherm

As part of the Councils’ Public Sector Decarbonisation project, funded by a £2million grant from Salix, Finn Geotherm has been appointed to remove the gas boilers in South Norfolk Council & Broadland District Councils’ new shared offices in Norwich and at Diss Leisure Centre, as well as a city-centre HMO (house with multiple occupation) facility managed by South Norfolk  Council. Fossil fueled boilers for all three properties will be replaced with low carbon heat pumps.

The project at the Horizon Centre, which commenced in December, will see two large scale Panasonic 210kW Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) installed by Finn Geotherm to provide all the heating, hot water and cooling for the 5,000m2 shared offices located on Broadland Business Park in Norwich. The new ASHPs will cut emissions by 66%, saving approximately 50 tonnes of carbon a year – the equivalent to driving 461,700km in a small car, or taking 775 flights from London to Manchester.

At Diss Leisure Centre, Finn Geotherm is replacing the existing gas boilers with three Panasonic 210kW ASHPs to provide all the facility’s pool and space heating and installing a further two 16kW heat pumps for hot water. This work is being undertaken as part of South Norfolk Council’s £4million modernisation and refurbishment project at the leisure centre. Work will be completed by March 2024, with the new heat pump system set to reduce energy use and emissions by 66%.

Finn Geotherm became the first company in Europe to install Panasonic’s colossal 210kW air source heat pumps in 2021. The first installations, undertaken for the University of West London, demonstrated the vast potential for air source heat pumps in large scale projects, with Finn Geotherm going on to install the 210kW air source systems in more than a dozen other public sector properties.

The third installation currently being undertaken by Finn Geotherm is the installation of two Stiebel Eltron ground source heat pumps for an HMO in Norwich managed by South Norfolk Council. Linked to eight bore holes, the 63kW system will provide all the heating and hot water for the residents and replace an existing gas boiler. The heat pump will be supplemented by a 26kWp Solar PV system, linked to battery storage cells. This will enable the heat pump to run using self-generated electricity for much of the year, further enhancing the positive impact of the project on the environment.

Annie Sommazzi, clean growth and sustainability manager for South Norfolk Council and Broadland District Councils, said: “The two Councils have committed to being Net Zero by 2030 and the work we are doing at the new Horizon building will help to reduce the Councils’ carbon footprint by an incredible 84%. We are delighted to have appointed Finn Geotherm, a local heat pump installer with a wealth of experience and expertise in this sector, to undertake these three new renewable heating projects which will have a significant impact on our energy use and emissions.”

Guy Ransom, commercial director at Finn Geotherm, said: “At the same time as ensuring everyone in the Horizon Centre, Diss Leisure Centre and the HMO can enjoy a warm and welcoming environment, these new air source and ground source heat pump systems will help support the Councils’ journey to Net Zero. Heating premises such as large office buildings and leisure centres in particular can often be seen as a challenge but these vast air source units provide the ideal solution. We’re looking forward to completing these three great projects for South Norfolk Council and Broadland District Councils over the coming weeks.”

15 February 2024

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