The first firms to connect to Sheffield’s new low carbon district heating network – which will turn waste wood into energy – have been revealed .
Sheffield Forgemasters’ South Machine Shop and Sheffield International Venues iceSheffield, the English Institute of Sport and the Motorpoint Arena will be heated by the E.ON energy plant being constructed on the site of the former Tinsley Power Station from 2015.
South Yorkshire Police has also approved plans to connect Attercliffe police station to the network.
The Blackburn Meadows renewable energy plant will turn 250,000 tonnes of wood that would otherwise go to landfill into 28MW of electricity - enough to power 40,000 homes.
More than 1,000 metres of pipework has already been laid and will carry water to firms and houses at a temperature of 110 degrees.
Environment chief Jack Scott, speaking at the launch of the network yesterday, said: “Sheffield has a really strong tradition of being environmentally friendly and a green city and also of manufacturing and if you shift the lens you can see that the generation of heat is 21st century manufacturing, using something that is low value and creating something vital.”
Forgemasters and SIV chiefs said the network would help them lower their carbon footprint by cutting carbon and Co2 gases.
The provisional route of the £20m network stretches 8km from the energy plant past Meadowhall down through the Lower Don Valley.
In future it could connect to the Northern General Hospital, new homes and potentially with the current Veolia energy recovery facility which powers a heating network to 149 businesses.
Richard Scott, from EON, said Sheffield Forgemasters could end up being both a customer and a supplier of the network and customers were now being sought to tap in to the resource.
He added: “We hope that many more businesses will follow but we should applaud the first for their vision.”
The plant will create at least 30 jobs, with the potential for more and wood will be supplied from a 70km radius of the energy plant.