Heating up the community

E.ON UKhas proposed the first large-scale community heating scheme in the UK with homes potentially being heated by excess steam from a cleaner coal development.


Earlier this year, E.ON UK launched an initial feasibility study to examine the potential for a district heating project for thousands of homes in Kent as part of its proposed Kingsnorth development. It now plans to carry out a more detailed feasibility exploration.


‘While it’s still early days, our investigations have shown that there is a real opportunity for community heating, particularly given the large residential and commercial developments being undertaken in the next decade as part of projects such as Thames Gateway and Medway Renaissance,’ said Dr Paul Golby, chief executive of E.ON UK.


‘Technically, we’ve already built in provision for combined heat and power or district heating in our designs for the new plant and our studies show that we could potentially provide heat to up to 100,000 homes plus associated commercial and public service buildings.’


In a community heating scheme, steam would be taken from E.ON’s proposed coal units to heat water in a network that would then be piped directly to people’s homes, removing their need for gas-fired boilers.


According to E.ON, which plans to have 50,000 new homes in the Kent development, district heating for these homes would save 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, the equivalent of taking 20,000 cars of the UK roads.


Agencies involved in the project include Medway Council, DEFRA and the Combined Heat and Power Association (CHPA).