Becontree Heat Network - Phase 1 Approaches Completion

Barking and Dagenham Council has taken another big step in reducing carbon emissions with the creation of a new, innovative £1.5-million heating system.

The Becontree Heat Network will mean a number of businesses and residential developments will share a single heating and hot water source, rather than each having their own individual units.

Powered by one combined heat and power energy centre, the system uses excess heat created from generating electricity to supply those connected on the network.

The project in Barking and Dagenham was one of only nine nationwide that secured funding from the Government’s Heat Network Investment Programme, receiving more than £1million in total, and is one of the first projects under construction.

The multi-million-pound network is designed and installed by sustainable energy specialists, Vital Energi, and will connect the Becontree Leisure Centre, CU London – the former Civic Centre in Dagenham, and around 170 new-build homes.

Ashley Walsh, Operation Director for Vital Energi, explains: “This is a council with a very considered, long-term approach to sustainability.

“Major district heating projects, like this one, are years in development and planning and they require wide-spread commitment and dedication to successfully bring them to market. 

“One of the truly exciting things about this scheme is that it is designed to grow, and develop throughout the borough, allowing more customers and buildings to access low-carbon heat, becoming more efficient and driving down emissions even further.”

Phase 1 of the scheme, which is nearing completion, has seen Vital Energi install approximately 2km of pre-insulated district heating pipework. The network has been designed to make future connections simple, with several of the areas schools planning to join the scheme in later phases.

Councillor Dominic Twomey, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Core Services, said: “The Becontree Heat Network is a great example of how we are delivering on our ambition to become the green capital of London. This is about investing in the future of Barking & Dagenham and providing energy for generations to come.

“Our residents deserve cost-effective, cleaner alternatives, and by reducing emissions the Becontree Heat Network is going to do just that. I am proud to be a part of this innovative project as we continue to build more homes and welcome business into the borough”

In addition to the heat network, Vital Energi have also been contracted to design and build the five sub-stations which act as heat interfaces with the buildings.

The network will be compliant with the Heat Network Code of Practice, which ensures minimum standards of design and installation and the pipework has a minimum design life of over 50 years. 

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