South Tyneside Council make use of flooded mines to provide heat to South Shields

Submitted by ahmed.ali on Mon, 11/04/2022 - 15:08

Project overview  

As part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, South Tyneside Council has been awarded £4.7m to support the first stages of delivering the Holborn Renewable Energy Network, part of which will use heat from abandoned flooded former coal mines, connecting them to a district heat network to serve buildings within South Shields.  

The initial phase of works, funded by the grant, will construct two 280 metre deep boreholes to facilitate the extraction of heat from the mines. The next phase of the works will see the development of an energy centre and pipe distribution network to connect public buildings in the area.  

The network will be a highly innovative use of multiple renewable technologies and is projected to cost over £20m to set up. The network is estimated to save 2,436 tonnes of carbon each year and reduce overall carbon emissions by 22%. It is also expected to save South Tyneside Council over £800,000 per year. The Holborn Renewable Energy Network looks to complete all works by 2025. 

How does it work? 

Water source heat pumps will extract the heat from abandoned flooded mines, converting this into energy in the form of hot water. This hot water will be used to heat buildings through a network of insulated pipes. Additional technologies, such as solar panels floating on the River Tyne, and mounted on an energy centre, will support the electricity needed to power the water sourced heat pumps.

“Increasing our capacity to generate renewable energy and low carbon heat, as well as making our buildings and facilities more efficient, helps us move towards our goal of a cleaner, greener future. This funding has allowed us to deliver a whole range of carbon-cutting projects across the borough, which will make a significant contribution in our drive to carbon neutrality by 2030.”

Councillor Ernest Gibson