As part of the London Plan and its objective of zero-carbon development, a new district heating network is to be installed in Uxbridge.
Metropolitan, alongside Vital Energi, has been awarded the contract to design, build and operate the district energy network for St Andrew’s Park, the new community being built near Uxbridge in the London Borough of Hillingdon.
The new community, located on the site of the former RAF Uxbridge base, consists of more than 656 homes and 30,000m2 of commercial space including a hotel, a care home, a theatre and offices. The contract, awarded by St Modwen Properties and Vinci PLC, is to supply low-carbon heat to all the buildings on the site.
Cambridge Network online reports that Greater London Authority (GLA) building regulations stipulate that the target for both domestic and non-domestic developments in London is for a 35% carbon-emission reduction beyond standard building regulations.
The rules have promoted the prioritisation of connection to planned energy networks by developers. The Mayor of London’s expectation is that localised decentralized energy systems, or district energy networks, will generate 25% of the heat and power used in London by 2025.
Metropolitan, assisted by Vital Energi, will build, own and operate a heat network and a gas-fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) energy centre. Metropolitan’s solution will provide a 30% saving on carbon emissions compared with the more traditional solution of generating electricity separately and providing heat from individual boilers in homes.
District energy is a very flexible heat solution, enabling networks to be extended and heat sources to be changed as and when required. At St Andrew’s Park, for example, a temporary energy centre will supply the initial 350 homes until the main energy centre is completed in 2021.
Typically, district energy networks result in lower fuel bills for customers, and Metropolitan has guaranteed that at St. Andrew’s Park heat costs will never exceed those incurred by a traditional gas-boiler solution. Furthermore, the installation of heat interface units with smart in-house displays as part of the network will allow customers to keep track of exactly how much heat they are using, and will enable Metropolitan to monitor the efficiency of heat delivery ensuring that customers are billed on actual real-time readings rather than estimated.
Metropolitan’s previous experience in heat networks include the prestigious King’s Cross development in London, also supported by Vital.