Innovative Energy Heat Network Investigations

As part of Solihull Council’s study into introducing innovative new energy and bringing affordable heating to town centre buildings, a test borehole is to be drilled in Tudor Grange Park beginning in January.

The test borehole will investigate what groundwater flows may be available from the water-bearing rock (aquifer) beneath Tudor Grange Park. This work will require a drilling rig to be set up and drilling undertaken over a four week period.

Officers from the Council’s UK Central team will be holding an informal drop-in session for local residents and businesses – for more information sign up to the Stay Connected email bulletins found on the Council website.

All of the funding for the study, and the various investigations including the test borehole, has come from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) via their Heat Network Delivery Unit (HNDU) and the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Councillor Tony Dicicco, Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing, said:
“The test borehole will tell us whether we could use renewable ground source energy to feed heat into the network. If it is feasible it could bring huge benefits to the town centre. The overall aim is to provide cheaper, more sustainable energy, while at the same time reducing carbon emissions.

“This is an exciting project that could be a test bed for low carbon and renewable energy technologies, something the Council is keen to promote.

“Do sign-up to the Stay Connected bulletins to keep up to date or pop in on 20 December to speak to our UK Central team to find out more about this innovative project.”

Matthew Rhodes, Board member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of Energy Capital in the West Midlands, said:
“This innovative clean energy project is exactly the kind of investment we want to see in support of our growth ambitions, creating opportunities for skilled local jobs, safe and secure local energy supplies, and supporting efforts to tackle climate change”

John Saunders, Investment Director and Head of Heat Network Delivery Unit, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said:
“We’ve made huge progress on the transformation of our power sector and recognise that heat is the next big challenge, accounting for almost half of energy use and around a third of carbon emissions. The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy makes it clear that heat networks will play a vital role in the long-term decarbonisation of heating and the Solihull Town Centre project is an excellent example of how we are supporting Local Authorities across England and Wales make clean growth a reality.”