Innovative Bridgend Town Heat Network secures £1.2m boost

An innovative energy project in Bridgend town centre, led by Bridgend County Borough Council, has secured a £1.2m grant from UK Government.

The Bridgend Town Heat Network plans involve delivering heat to a number of public sector buildings in the town centre through a new system of distribution pipes, taking excess heat from a combined heat and power plant and thermal storage facility.

It has been designed to enable future expansion to additional properties in the local area, including businesses and residential homes.

The energy centre would be based at the Bridgend Life Centre, initially using a gas-fired combined heat and power plant with back-up gas boilers. The first phase would serve the Bowls Hall, Civic Centre offices and the Bridgend Life Centre.

Welcoming the new investment, Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Richard Young, said: “We are proud to be one of the first two councils in Wales to receive this funding which enables us now to progress the scheme through the commercialisation phase by first accessing £241,000 funding. Should that phase meet all necessary requirements, then the local authority will be able to decide whether to move the project through to, and beyond, construction and accept the further £1m of funding.

“Key objectives for the scheme are to continue to provide reduced energy costs for customers, provide carbon emissions savings compared to alternative strategies and, over time, further decarbonise heat supplies.

“The project is a key part of our plans to decarbonise heat within Bridgend and forms part of our Smart Energy Plan developed with the support of the Energy Systems Catapult through the Smart System and Heat Programme to drive forward and capture the economic and social benefits of decarbonisation.”

Cardiff Council received a £6.6 million grant for the Cardiff Heat Network which will use underground pipes to transport heat from a local waste plant to buildings in and around the Cardiff Bay area.

Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng said: “These projects in Wales will help ensure that low-carbon sources of heating are available across the UK.

“Projects in Bridgend and Cardiff will help connect as many homes and businesses as possible to low-carbon affordable heating – by cutting bills and emissions we can achieve our net zero target in a way that works for residents across the UK.”

Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart said: “Heat networks form an important part of the UK Government’s plan to reduce carbon emissions and cut heating bills for consumers.

“This £8 million investment will help heat hundreds of homes and buildings using cheaper, greener energy across Bridgend and Cardiff. It also marks another step forward for our ambitious Clean Growth Strategy and moves us closer to our target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “I am delighted Bridgend and Cardiff have been successful in gaining this funding, which builds on the hard work of the local authorities, with support from Welsh Government’s Smart Living programme and the Energy Systems Catapult to help develop Bridgend’s smart systems and heat strategy.”