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Hot on the heels of my summer news about plans for a £7m district heating scheme that are set to tap geothermal energy from the flooded underground pits and passages of the former Hebburn Colliery, to heat buildings owned by South Tyneside Council, in whose borough the town of Hebburn and its colliery are located…..          Along comes more good news from Hebburn’s sister town, Jarrow, also in South Tyneside, together with South Shields, of course, where Solar Solve’s factory and HQ are located.

The major difference between the schemes seems to be the main heat source.  For the Hebburn scheme it is water in old mineshafts and for Jarrow it is the River Tyne.

Some of the Jarrow information is as follows:-

The Viking Energy Network would work by harnessing low-grade heat from the River Tyne and exporting it to 11 buildings ranging from high-rise flats and schools to sheltered accommodation.  The scheme is also expected to help slash South Tyneside Council’s annual carbon emissions by around 1,475 tonnes and save around half a million pounds a year.

Water source heat pumps work by extracting heat from a body of water, compressing it to increase the temperature and then converting it into useful energy in the form of hot water in a network of insulated pipes connecting buildings.

The Viking Energy Network will see an energy centre built on the banks of the Tyne and will combine a river source heat pump, a combined heat and power backup system, a 1 MW solar farm and a private wire electrical network with storage battery.

South Tyneside Council is striving to become carbon neutral by 2030 following last year’s ‘climate emergency’ declaration and has since developed a climate change strategy and five-year action plan.  They claim this district heating system is highly innovative; it will be the first of its kind in the country and the council are keen to drive it forward.

Lead member for area management and community safety with responsibility for climate change, Coun Joan Atkinson, added: “Our drive towards carbon neutrality is strong and focused and we are implementing strategies that bring about real change.”  Cllr. Atkinson can be seen in the photo viewing the area where the energy centre will be built.

If you are interested in Solar Solve’s products you can read more information about our Type Approved marine screens, flame retardant window shades and sun blinds by typing what you are looking for into this website’s search box.

John Lightfoot MBE, Solar Solve Chairman