Newport City Homes (NCH) is a housing association providing services to more than 10,000 residents, leaseholders and shared owners in the city of Newport.
In 2015, NCH began construction of a biomass energy centre, which would integrate with the existing 900-home district heating scheme in Duffryn, Newport. This project was delivered in partnership with British Gas, with the majority of funding being provided under the British Gas ECO scheme.
Sustainable Energy was contracted to provide design, tendering, commissioning management and RHI application support for what would become the largest biomass district heating scheme in Wales.
Sustainable Energy undertook a technology review of suppliers for large-scale wood chip boilers, and worked with British Gas to contract with Austrian company, Polytechnik, for the supply of a 2,500 kW wood chip boiler. Design for the boiler integration, energy centre layout and metering was undertaken by Sustainable Energy, prior to supporting the tendering process and construction of the project, through to handover.
The energy centre comprises a 2,500 kW wood chip boiler with 240 m³ fuel store, which means it can receive a daily delivery of an articulated lorry’s volume of sustainable, local, woodchip. Thermal storage of 50,000 litres allows the biomass boiler to deliver heat to the district heat network efficiently and consistently. Three 2,900 kW gas boilers provide energy during back up and peak heat demand conditions.
The system includes an electrostatic filter, ensuring emissions are reduced to the lowest feasible levels. Full integration of the biomass and gas boilers is aided by a comprehensive control and monitoring system.
The project was delivered on time and on budget. Sustainable Energy continues to work with Newport City Homes to assist with the procurement of sustainable wood fuel, maintaining high boiler efficiency and improving efficiency of the overall district heating scheme, helping to ensure that all residents receive renewable heat at a lower cost.