Trafford Council delves beneath the surface for eco-friendly energy solution

Trafford Council in the UK is exploring the possibility of using the power generated from the sewers beneath our feet to create a low carbon heat network for the Trafford Civic Quarter.

While sewers may not be the most pleasant topic, the Council is optimistic that this innovative approach to heating could be a success. The Civic Quarter, which includes Trafford Town Hall, Trafford College, Stretford High School, and various leisure facilities, could benefit from this sustainable heating solution. Additionally, the project aims to provide low carbon heat to new developments in the area.

A global infrastructure consultancy firm, AECOM, has already conducted a study that suggests a low carbon heat network in this region could be both technically and financially feasible. The Council has now tasked AECOM with developing a preliminary business case for the project.

The proposed heat network would extract waste heat from the sewer system to provide low carbon heating to existing and future buildings in the area. The business case will delve into the technical, financial, commercial, and legal aspects of the project and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Councillor Tom Ross, Leader of Trafford Council, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating that it brings them closer to achieving their carbon neutral goal. He also mentioned the potential for expanding the heat network to other parts of Trafford, such as Trafford Park, which contributes significantly to the area’s carbon emissions.

Jo Streeten, Managing Director of Buildings + Places, Europe and India at AECOM, highlighted the importance of district heating in helping the UK transition to a net zero future. The Trafford scheme exemplifies how communities can operate more sustainably by utilizing waste heat from sewers. Streeten emphasized the collaborative efforts between local and central government and the private sector in driving the project forward.

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