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Can heat from mine water be used to warm homes?

10 July 2017

Bridgend County Borough Council is marking ‘Community Energy Fortnight’ by holding a public exhibition in Caerau on Tuesday 11 July to provide the latest update on an ambitious plan to use heat from underground mine water to warm nearly 1,000 homes in the Llynfi Valley.

Former mine workings in the valley may potentially offer a geo-thermal source of energy as they have filled up with water which has an average temperature of around 10 to 14 Degrees Celsius.

The council is investigating the idea of pumping water from the old disused mine workings and transporting it through a network of pipes to residents’ properties in Caerau.

The heat would be extracted and passed through a heat pump, providing heat for the property using its existing radiator system. The mine water would not, at any point, enter the homes of residents. 

Local residents can find out more about the innovative project by calling into St Cynfelyn’s Church Hall on Cymmer Road, Caerau (CF34 0PT) on Tuesday 11 July between 12:30pm and 3pm.

The council is also keen to speak to anyone who would be interested in being part of a focus group to help gather detailed information on residents’ energy needs, while volunteers are also required who would be willing to help with energy technology trials over Winter 2017/18.

Councillor Richard Young, the council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “This exhibition follows on from two sessions that were held earlier in the year, enabling local people to learn more about this exciting plan which could provide safe, continuous, and cost effective heat for a large number of local homes.

“In addition to this project, we are also currently exploring the feasibility of two further heat network schemes in Bridgend. The plans are still very much in the early stages, but the idea is to initially link up public sector buildings, with the potential to include housing further down the line.”

In March 2016, Bridgend County Borough Council was one of 24 local authorities – and the only one in Wales – to share a grant of £1.5m from the Department of Energy and Climate Change for the development of new low carbon heat networks.

Heat networks are believed to have the potential to supply heat for between 14 per cent and 43 per cent of UK buildings by 2050. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has been providing grant funding and expert guidance to support 190 heat network projects since 2013.

To find out more, please call 01656 643133and ask to speak to Ceri Williams or Michael Jenkins.

Last Updated: 10/07/2017
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