SSE welcomes launch of Heat Network Investment Project funding as a ‘gamechanger’ for the industry

SSE has welcomed the launch of the BEIS Heat Network Investment Project Main Scheme as a major boost for project developers and for this vital component of the future energy landscape.

The £281m funding, provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), is just the spark needed to ignite the development of a self-sustaining heat network sector.

SSE Enterprise Heat is one of the UK’s leading heat network providers, operating 13 heat networks across the country with strong growth ambitions. It has delivered some of the UK’s major heat networks including Royal Arsenal Riverside, Victoria Nova and one of the largest retrofit projects in the UK at the Wyndford Estate in Glasgow.

Jody Pittaway, Head of Project Development – SSE Enterprise Heat, said: “The full launch of the HNIP fund is well timed and comes at a crucial juncture in the development of UK heat networks where the market is predicted to grow significantly.

“Heat networks are common place in Europe and they are a crucial component in meeting the UK’s decarbonisation targets.  However, strong policy support is required in the UK to deliver the required investment and it is encouraging to see this bold position and investment decision from BEIS.

“Effective public – private partnerships are key in delivering the scale of investment and delivery needed in the sector.  We believe in putting our money where our mouth is, hence we intend to bring circa £50m of our own investment to the market, to complement the HNIP funding. Today’s development, as well as the launch of the Heat Network Industry Council, will put the industry in a strong place to deliver a sustainable industry that delivers for customers.”

The newly formed Heat Network Industry Council has been established, and is led, by the Association for Decentralised Energy. Made up of leaders of the heat network industry it has been convened to support Government in achieving its vision of achieving a sustainable industry. The Council will identify measures it can take across the sector to create jobs and investment, cut costs, reduce carbon, create smarter cities and drive excellence in customer service and standards.

Nathan Sanders, Managing Director of SSE Enterprise Utilities, said: “The Council is the latest initiative by industry to drive improvements in the sector and help deliver a sustainable, investable heat network industry - an objective shared by industry and the Government. SSE has considerable experience in all aspects of heat networks projects from feasibility to full operation and customer service, through the Council we will be able to use this knowledge and experience to ensure the next generation of heat networks are optimised to deliver for all.

“The developments today align with our genuine growth ambitions which include doubling our workforce in five years and trebling the number of networks we currently operate. We look forward to forging lasting partnerships with organisations across the sector, from local authorities to housing associations, hospitals and private developers, to make these 21st century projects happen.”

Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, said: “The UK has led the world in cutting emissions whilst growing our economy -  with clean growth driving incredible innovation and creating hundreds of thousands of high quality jobs. Ten years on from the Climate Change Act, the first ever Green GB week is a time to build on our successes and explain the huge opportunities for business and young people of a cleaner economy. I’m delighted to see how many more businesses and organisations such as SSE are seizing this multi-billion pound opportunity to energize their communities to tackle the very serious threat of climate change.”