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Two councils drop HNIP pilot project plans

Sheffield City Council and Manchester City Council decide against moving forward with separate heat network projects citing changing economic conditions during development

Two UK heat network projects that were set to receive funds as part of a £24m government funding trial will not move forward with development on the basis of changing commercial viability and system needs.

The two projects, which were being separately overseen by Sheffield City Council and Manchester City Council, had been chosen among nine successful bids to be awarded funds as part of the pilot phase of the government’s Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP).

However, the local authorities and their partners have now announced they will be returning funding due to seeking alternative arrangements to transform heating on the selected projects, according to a government update.

The Sheffield District Energy Network, which is a project developed by Sheffield City Council in partnership with energy group E.ON, will not be proceeding on the back of detailed development work to more towards a commercialisation phase. 

An update on the pilot HNIP project said both parties found the project was no longer “economically viable”.

A statement on the project said, “This is due to key potential heat loads now expected to materialise at a later date than previously anticipated, along with a more advanced assessment of project costs.”

“The HNIP funds provided for the project so far will be returned to The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The project has provided a number of valuable learnings that will aid the development of heat networks and the HNIP main scheme for BEIS and in Sheffield going forward.”

Another pilot project being overseen by Manchester City Council that was to be developed by Allied London also evolved away from using heat networks during the development process.

Following the announcement of funding, both parties involved in the project, said they had opted instead for building level solutions as opposed to networked heating to meet their requirements. 

A statement on the project said, “The HNIP loan support offered to Manchester City Council for this project will not, therefore, be drawn down.”

BEIS said it would continue to work with both authorities and their project partners in looking at other opportunities to develop heat networks.

Sheffield City Council and Manchester City Council decide against moving forward with separate heat network projects citing changing economic conditions during development

 

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