Bradford courts sign up to city’s new energy network

HM Courts and Tribunals Service has signed a 20-year agreement to connect to the £70m Bradford Energy Network, which will prevent 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted.

When it begins operating in 2026 it will become the UK’s largest low-to-zero carbon district heating network .

The heat network is being funded partly through the Green Heat Network Fund, a source of grant funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and partly through private investment from 1Energy.

When complete it will be the largest scale air source heat pump district heating network in the UK.  An 8 MW heat pump will be housed in a new energy centre and will generate enough heat to supply the equivalent of 10,000 homes. Heated water will be circulated through a network of pipes which can connect  to the heating systems of buildings.

In its initial phases, the Bradford Energy Network will include 8 km of underground pipework that will supply up to 30 major buildings in the city centre.

When the system begins operation, gas boilers will be used as a back-up to the system and on the coldest days they would be used to top up the heat provided by the source heat pumps. They are expected to initially supply 10-15% of total heat demand for the heat network but, as part of a commitment to make the Network net zero carbon by 2030, the boiler heat will be replaced by alternative low-carbon heat within four years.

Bradford Energy Limited is backed by 1Energy Group, a team of experts in district heating networks with collective experience of delivering and operating over 45 district heating projects in the UK over the last 15 years. Alongside this 1Energy has mobilised several hundred million pounds of funding to build a series of low-to-zero carbon (LZC) district energy projects across the UK, of which Bradford is the first. 

1Energy and their technical partners, Fairheat, supported the HM Courts and Tribunals Service to secure a £3.5m grant from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

1Energy are also developing heat networks in Rotherham, Exeter, and Milton Keynes.

Marissa Granath, Project Director of the Bradford Energy Network for 1Energy, said: ‘The Bradford Energy Network is a nationally significant project which will help to build the future of Bradford’s net zero infrastructure underneath the streets of the city centre.

‘Signing a 20-year deal to deliver low-carbon heating to two of Bradford’s largest buildings shows the faith and confidence HM Courts and Tribunals have in the Bradford Energy Network.

‘There are only two options available to property owners and developers looking to decarbonise buildings in Bradford: a building-scale heat pump or connection our heat network. However, connecting to our network is by far the most economical way to decarbonise heat, with total whole-life costs around 30% cheaper than installing individual air source heat pumps on buildings.’

‘We were thrilled that HMCTS were able to secure £3.5m of grant funding to enable Bradford Law Courts to connect to the heat network and we are excited about working with other building owners in Bradford to help them cut costs and cut carbon emissions.’





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