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Factory heat could be used to warm 30,000 Cumbrian homes

Surplus heat from Workington businesses such as Iggesund could soon be pumped to thousands of homes in the area.

Iggesund paperboard photo
The board machine at Iggesund

Britain’s Energy Coast is considering plans which could see a “distributed heat system” around six north Workington employers, believed to include Iggesund paperboard mill, warming as many as 30,000 homes.

The idea is relatively commonplace in parts of Europe such as Norway and Poland where insulated pipes bring heat to residential homes from factories or large scale central boilers.

Steven Szostak, chief executive of Britain’s Energy Coast, said the scheme had the support of Workington’s housing associations and would probably start with a small scale pilot area.

It is one of a number of renewable schemes for west Cumbria drawn up by consultants for BEC.

“We commissioned the consultants to find the best examples of renewable energy innovation to see if we could coax them to west Cumbria.

“We want this area to be a test bed for renewable alternatives which can attract further research and make a contribution to regeneration,” Mr Szostak said.

Other proposals in the consultants’ report to be considered by the BEC board include

  • Helping the researchers behind tidal power developments in the Orkneys set up test sites off the Cumbrian coast to see how the technology works in less choppy waters
  • Testing Westlakes Science Park’s suitability for geo-thermal boreholes as the site is a hot spot which could produce large quantities of surplus heat for homes and businesses.

Mr Szostak said that with a number of universities already active in the area including Manchester, Liverpool, UCLan and Cumbria it was important to continue “turning heads towards west Cumbria” and encourage more research and innovation which would help boost the local economy.

He was speaking at a business forum hosted by The Times and the Centre for Leadership Performance newspaper at Energus in Lillyhall yesterday with a panel of business and council leaders.

Have your say

obviously the prof is against anything that involves change, in order to make improvements work has to be done there is no such thing as magic!!!

Posted by albert on 22 March 2013 at 13:16

What a great idea, as to the roads being dug up, well you'd have to anyway to get it to a new build. How can you state that in the article when no one has made any decision but you prof? a properly good idea.

Posted by Mark on 21 March 2013 at 13:12

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