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Waste burner could heat homes
HOMES and businesses in Bicester could have something in common with properties in Copenhagen – they could be heated from an incinerator.
Talks are continuing to use heat produced from the planned Ardley incinerator, run by waste firm Viridor, for the 5,000-home eco-town at North West Bicester and potentially other sites in the town.
Work on the first 393 eco-properties is due to start this autumn, and the incinerator is expected to be up and running by the end of 2015. However, developer A2Dominion said it will “future proof” homes to allow incinerator heat to be harnessed.
A report to the Eco Bicester Strategic Delivery Board says the environmental benefits of the scheme would see CO2 emissions reduced by 5,000 tonnes – the equivalent to taking 2,500 cars off the road, less reliance on fossil fuels and cheaper energy prices.
Heat from incinerators is usually discharged into the atmosphere because homes are not close enough to use it, and laying pipes would be too expensive.
But with the Ardley plant about two miles from the site, the developer’s idea is to “capture” the heat and pipe it to Bicester, where it can be used to heat homes and businesses.
Similar schemes are used across Europe, with the world’s biggest in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, where pipes stretch 50km (30 miles) and energy from waste supplies 30 per cent of its heat.
Steve Hornblow, A2Dominion’s project director for North West Bicester, said: “With construction of the first, exemplar phase of NW Bicester, due to begin in the autumn, we are future proofing the eco-town development, so the homes can benefit from the Ardley incinerator.
“While initially relying on gas CHP to heat homes, it is hoped the eco-town will later utilise the sustainable energy generated by the Ardley incinerator, reducing the reliance on gas, meaning fewer emissions, and subsequently delivering lower energy prices.”
Viridor spokesman Victor Perez-Mares said: “The design of the energy from the waste facility at Ardley took into account that in future there may be demand for heating locally.
“We confirm that we have had preliminary discussions with local potential users of heat derived from the facility which may continue as we assess the viability of future options.”
The idea of using excess heat from the burner to power the eco-town was first mooted last year.
Initial costings have not been revealed, but according to the report, showed “long-term profitability of connecting to Ardley is greater than using gas CHP”.
- Ardley incinerator will process 300,000 tonnes of waste a year and produce enough electricity to power 25,000 homes.