Shadow Secretary, Ed Miliband takes a tour of Castle Park

The Castle Park heat pump project in Bristol has proven a popular destination for politicians looking to learn how the latest renewable technologies are helping councils on their net-zero journey and the most recent visitor to the site was Ed Miliband, former Labour Party Leader and current Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero.

Mr Miliband was met by representatives from Bristol City Council and Vital Energi and toured the energy centre which will produce low-carbon heat for the Bristol Heat Network.

I think it is incredibly exciting what has been done here in Bristol. I have seen this water-source heat pump which is using the natural heat from the river water to heat thousands of households across Bristol as part of the district heating network. It is not just about climate change, it is about energy bills. Energy bills are on everyone's minds at the moment, they have absolutely rocketed upwards and what this could do is provide cheap, clean, secure power for people. And that is why I think it is so exciting.

Ed Miliband - Shadow Secretary of State , Climate Change and Net Zero

Speaking about the water source heat pump and City Leap project, Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees added: “It’s one of those interventions that can happen in cities and become real in the lives of people very quickly. Using this new technology to decarbonise the heat, the energy that people are requiring to meet their needs.”

“The technology is there to decarbonise the way we live, to solve 80 per cent of the problems. The big block is around finance and long-term planning – it’s Excel sheets and accountants and that doesn’t sound glamourous but that is what would unlock the challenge across our cities.

“If we can decarbonise UK cities, we decarbonise the lifestyles of millions of people in a very short space of time.”

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This is an exciting time as the energy centre is delivering heat to the Bristol Heat Network, which already connects to 1,000 homes, and we are in the final commissioning process. Water source heat pumps are an extremely efficient way of generating low-carbon heat and will play an important role for councils who are working to meet their net-zero targets.”

Hugh Thompson, Project Director for Vital Energi

The project has seen the construction of a custom-built energy centre which houses the 3MW water source heat pump and takes heat from the nearby Shoreham Harbour and uses it to generate heat and hot water which will feed into the existing Bristol Heat Network.

The energy project is being delivered by Bristol City Council and Goram Homes in partnership with Vital Energi.

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