The UK’s first oil-free village
Swaffham Prior is a historic village in the Cambridgeshire countryside that is not connected to the gas network. Around 70% of households therefore burn fuel for heating and hot water. This dependence on fossil fuels generates high CO2 emissions and drains the villagers financially.
To help Cambridgeshire County Council become more energy efficient and achieve its net zero target by 2050, Bouygues Energies & Services has designed a renewable heat network.
Innovating to end fuel difficulties in the village
Geothermal heat pumps extract heat from underground. The village energy centre uses heat from the pumps to generate thermal energy. This is then transferred to the buildings of Swaffham Prior via an underground pipe network. The energy centre is powered by renewable electricity from the private grid.
This renewable heat network will end the village’s precarious energy situation, lower its dependence on increasingly costly fuel, and reduce Swaffham Prior’s carbon footprint.
“Simulation models predict that this network will save 95% of CO2 emissions in year 1, rising to 96% by 2030 and 99% by 2050,”explains Matthew Cole, Project Manager at Bouygues Energies & Services.
The Energy Minister supports this innovative project
Energy Minister Lord Callanan has lent his support to this innovative project which will see Swaffham Prior become the first UK village to disconnect its oil supply and switch to an modern zero-carbon heating system. He visited Lucy Frazer, Conservative MP for South East Cambridgeshire, in July to ask how the project was progressing before visiting the energy centre where the heat pumps are installed together.
The first homes should be connected to the network this autumn. So far, 124 households have signed up.