SSE & National Grid Pilot Project toUse Transformers to Heat Homes
SSE Energy Solutions and National Grid have unveiled an innovative new project that could decarbonise heat networks, capturing waste heat from electricity transformers to generate hot water and space heating for homes and businesses. It is estimated that the heat recovery project will initially reduce heat network carbon emissions by more than 40% versus traditional gas-led systems. Critically, the technology offers a route to net-zero heat when applied to transformers served by 100% renewable electricity from wind or solar farms.
The project has the potential to save millions of tonnes of CO2 every year if rolled out across National Grid’s network of transformers across England and Wales, harnessing this waste heat via SSE heat networks to serve towns and cities across the region.
SSE Energy Solutions’ heat recovery technology is currently undergoing a proof-of-concept trial at National Grid’s Deeside Centre for Innovation, the first facility in Europe where assets associated with electricity networks can be tested off-grid. The centre is designed as a unique environment for developments and trials of new technologies and practices. Deeside is a key part of National Grid Electricity Transmission’s Innovation programme, a series of projects, informed and developed by stakeholders, innovating to address the challenges of the energy transition.
SSE is a founder member of the Heat Networks Industry Council, an industry-wide group collaborating with the government to unlock the potential of zero carbon heat networks and provide around 20% of the UK’s heat by 2050. HNIC members are committed to creating 20-35,000 new direct jobs and investment of up to £50bn in the UK market, while decarbonising heat networks by 2035. At present, SSE Group operates 18 large heating and cooling networks across the UK, serving over 10,500 customers.