South Gloucestershire and Bristol Strategic Heat Network

South Gloucestershire and Bristol City Council

South Gloucestershire and Bristol City councils commissioned Sustainable Energy to assess the viability of a strategic heat main to transmit heat, via a proposed network, from the energy from waste (EfW) and industrial plants of Avonmouth-Severnside, to energy consumers in the South Gloucestershire Enterprise Area, South Gloucestershire’s urban fringes and Bristol City Centre.

One of the main drivers for this project is to assist BCC in progressing the Mayor’s commitment to put Bristol ‘on course to be run entirely on clean energy by 2050’, and for the city to be ‘carbon neutral’ by the same date. In order to achieve this, it is Bristol City Council’s ambition to develop a city-wide, low carbon, decentralised energy distribution network. Initial network clusters have been identified and assessed, with the aim in the long term being to connect each cluster network to the planned strategic heat main.


We were commissioned to:

  • Identify potential heat sources and the network heat demands from Severnside and the South Gloucestershire fringe to the city centre
  • Assess the heat offtake tariffs and heat offtake equipment required
  • Identify key risks and barriers to the network route (e.g. crossing the M49 and M52), and consider futureproofing measures such as sleeving arrangements


We assessed all potential heat sources, including three planned EfW plants and a number of industrial processes. We identified all potential heat network clusters that could be served by the network. These included large industrial sites, large housing developments, a university campus, a government site and existing & planned district heat networks in and around Bristol City Centre.

We also conducted a detailed route assessment. Working in partnership with council planners, project and highways teams and 3D Technical Design Ltd, we assessed all planned infrastructure projects and identified the potential to futureproof barriers (such as M32 and railway crossings) to allow installation of large district heating pipes in the future.


Identified up to 40 MW of heat offtake from EfW plants in Avonmouth, serving a phased 15 km heat main connecting network clusters in South Gloucestershire and Bristol City Centre.

We are currently undertaking a feasibility assessment on the second phase of the Strategic Heat Network.