Telford carbon reduction action plan aims to expand lower-fuel heating network
A lower-fuel heating network that already powers Telford’s ice rink and Southwater One building could be expanded further, as part of plans to reduce the area’s carbon footprint.
The extension is one of many projects to be explored in the next year of Telford & Wrekin’s 'Becoming Carbon Neutral Action Plan', due to go before cabinet next week.
Others include building low-carbon techniques into the development of new homes and the NI Park, an agri-tech innovation park under construction in Newport.
In a report, climate change and sustainability co-ordinator Harjot Rayet writes that the Telford & Wrekin “is already experiencing a range of climate impacts, including heatwaves and flooding” and the plan aims to “reduce vulnerability”.
Mr Rayet writes that the council has already reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 44 per cent, from more than 14,000 tonnes in 2005 to just under 8,000 in 2018. Installing the four-megawatt solar farm at Wheat Leasows, converting more than 20,000 streetlights to LED and protecting 200 sites under its “green guarantee” scheme have contributed to this.
“Over the next 12 months we will drive further carbon reductions through major development opportunities and strategy,” he writes.
These include promoting the planned £200 million Station Quarter as a “smart quarter”.
He adds: “We will seek to minimise carbon footprint, maximising digital connectivity and the creation of connected and accessible living, leisure and working space.”
Other projects include reducing carbon emissions during the new developments by Nuplace, the council’s wholly-owned homebuilding company, and the construction of the NI Park.
Further measures outlined in Mr Rayet’s report include “publishing a local nature recovery strategy, which will set out measures to increase our landscape and woodland resources and increase carbon sequestration locally” and “scoping the provision of a 100 per cent renewable fast-charging electric vehicle forecourt”.
He adds: “We have also just received confirmation that we have been successful in securing funding from the government’s Heat Delivery Network Unit to carry out a feasibility study into the development of a large-scale heating network.
“Heat networks are one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions from heating, and their efficiency and carbon-saving potential increases as they grow and connect to each other.
“The study will determine the potential to expand our existing energy centre in Southwater, which currently provides heat and power to Telford Ice Rink and Southwater One, to other buildings in Telford Town Centre, including Station Quarter, working collaboratively with public and private-sector partners.”
Cabinet member Hilda Rhodes, whose brief includes parks and the natural environment, will present Mr Rayet’s report to her colleagues when they meet on Thursday, February 20.