Leeds PIPES Continues Expansion With Three New Major Connections

The Leeds PIPES project has become one of the fastest expanding heat networks in the UK and the scheme is set to grow further with St James’s Hospital, Quarry House and Trinity Academy all announcing plans to connect to the network as part of Phase 3 works.

The project has already seen 26.5km of district heating pipework installed across Leeds during the first two phases of work and phase 3 will see an additional 2km installed.

The heat network distributes low-carbon heat from the nearby Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF), and delivers it to local residents, businesses and civic buildings.  The scheme already delivers significant carbon savings each year, and this is set to increase with the addition of the 3 new major connections.

Since declaring a climate emergency we’ve made fantastic progress on delivering schemes and initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint. Not only is district heating a worthwhile investment to help combat climate change, but it is also a smart investment for the city too. These new connections mean that the network will return more to the council than it costs us—helping to protect vital frontline services.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council Executive Member

Mike Cooke, Managing Director for North and Scotland at Vital Energi, said:

“Leeds PIPES is one of the most exciting heat networks in the UK.  Leeds City Council have demonstrated that cities can deliver massive, rapid decarbonisation as a way of meeting their climate emergency targets and this expansion will allow more organisations to utilise low-carbon heat, increase the efficiency of the network and deliver further carbon reductions.

“Whilst the carbon savings are of massive importance, its contribution towards fighting fuel poverty can’t be overstated as Leeds City Council can now offer 1,983 homes more affordable heat and hot water.”

In addition to delivering strong environmental benefits the Leeds PIPES project has supported 430 local, low-carbon sector jobs and 36 apprenticeships and continued safely throughout the pandemic.

This will be the third time Vital Energi has worked with St James’s Hospital to deliver a carbon reduction project after previously delivering an upgrade to their energy centre and, more recently, installing a range of energy conservation and generation measures, such as air and water source heat pumps, to lower their carbon further.

Martha Hart, Project Lead, Arup, said:

“We are thrilled that the second phase of the Leeds PIPES project is now complete, bringing affordable, low-carbon heat to homes and businesses across the city and Leeds another step closer to carbon neutrality by 2030.”