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Underground pipes installed as part of scheme to provide low-carbon energy to homes

A network of underground pipes is now being installed as part of a groundbreaking scheme to provide sustainable, low-carbon energy to homes and businesses in Sutton.

The Sutton Decentralised Energy Network (SDEN) will capture heat from the newly built Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) and existing landfill gas engines in Beddington, which will then be transported in highly insulated pipes to provide low-carbon heat and hot water to properties.

The first phase is set to go live later this year and will initially supply energy to around 725 homes, a care home and a supermarket at the new New Mill Quarter in Hackbridge –  a flagship David Wilson Homes and Barratt London development.

Sutton Council, as part of its One Planet Sutton ambitions to reduce the borough’s environmental footprint, is unique in the UK by delivering its own decentralised energy network from a privately operated ERF to a new private development, reducing carbon emissions and dependency on fossil fuels.

Cllr Jayne McCoy, Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business committee, said: “This is a huge step towards our ambition of making Sutton a zero-carbon borough, enabling residents to access a renewable energy source.

“Unlike other decentralised energy networks, we are not using fossil-fuels powering high-efficiency energy plants, but instead capturing low carbon heat from an independent source. That heat is then being delivered through our own pipes to an independent developer.

“This is a unique arrangement, requiring a mutual commitment to delivering renewable energy with Sutton Council as the key facilitator and investor.

“We are grateful to our partners Viridor, David Wilson Homes, Barratts London, and Thames Water for making this work. We are also pleased to have had the positive support and backing of the Greater London Authority and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.”

Paul Kitchingman, Operations Director for David Wilson Homes said: “There has never been a more crucial time to find sustainable energy sources and we are pleased to work with Sutton Council and SDEN to use this important, innovative scheme.

“We’re proud of our efforts to create a sustainable new community at New Mill Quarter, and hope that the work contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions and supports the borough councils ‘One Planet’ initiative.”

Viridor’s Managing Director of Major Contracts, Chris Jonas, said the company was pleased to work with SDEN and the council to create renewable energy for residents.

“Viridor’s view is that all waste should be given a purpose and valued as a resource, rather than rubbish. For Sutton residents to see this concept put into practice with waste collected from local homes being used to create heating for those homes is a goal well worth pursuing.”

For more information on SDEN visit www.sden.org.uk/