Vattenfall, Bristol Heat Networks Ltd

In early 2023, Bristol City Council launched Bristol City Leap, a world-first city partnership to bring in £1bn of investment to decarbonise the city.

Castle Park Energy Centre - Bristol

Bristol was the first UK city to declare a climate emergency, setting the ambitious target of carbon neutral emissions by 2030. To meet that ambition the city needed an energy partner. Vattenfall is working with Bristol City Leap, a Joint Venture between Bristol City Council and Ameresco to accelerate green energy investment in Bristol and help towards decarbonising the city. Working with customers, involved organisations will collaborate to tackle both energy efficiency and the heat decarbonisation of buildings, by assessing and rolling out the right low-carbon solutions for the right properties, such as energy efficiency measures and of course district heating.

Vattenfall’s role is to make district heating happen in Bristol. As part of Bristol City Leap, Vattenfall acquired the heat networks in operation and construction from Bristol City Council, and building on this great work, we are now delivering heat to the equivalent of 5000 homes. This includes the UK’s largest single harbour water source heat pump at Castle Park Energy Centre, where water is taken from the nearby floating harbour to provide heating to local homes and businesses. Vattenfall plans to expand the city’s existing heat networks, ultimately linking them to create a citywide network.

Bristol City Leap is expected to contribute an estimated £61 million of social value, supporting Bristol City Council’s ambitions for communities to thrive. This includes the creation of local jobs during the construction of the heat network, part of an estimated £55 million worth of contracts delivered by local suppliers. A £1.5 million Community Energy Fund, funded by Vattenfall and Ameresco, has also been established for the development of low carbon energy initiatives. This includes the opportunity for local organisations to develop connections or supply heat to the Bristol Heat Network, considered to be a UK first for community funding and the industry. It’s a huge opportunity for the city.

Over the 20 year-long Bristol City Leap term, Vattenfall will expand the Bristol Heat Network to deliver heating to homes and businesses across the city. This work will deliver jobs and economic growth, stimulating the development of a specialist supply chain to support network installation. Taking care of local communities is important when installing infrastructure, and we are working with key stakeholders to minimise the disruption to residents by combining the installation of heat pipes with other developments, like planned road works.

Find out more here.