The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling Services presented the Zero Carbon Heat Network – Route to Market report for Cabinet’s consideration.
Members were informed that the Council was in the process of developing a zero-carbon heat network project to supply zero-carbon heat to homes, businesses and public buildings in Bromsgrove town centre. A report had previously been considered on this subject by Cabinet when Members had concluded that it would be appropriate to continue with the project through to the Detailed Project Design (DPD) stage. A feasibility study had been produced in respect of this matter in 2019.
In 2020. the Council had secured £227,500 towards the DPD phase of the heat network project from the Government. This had been matched by some additional funding from Bromsgrove District Council, Bromsgrove School and the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust.
In April 2021, a specialist Project Manager had been appointed. The Project Manager had identified that, since the original scheme was approved, there had been a number of changes to the Government’s decarbonisation plans. These changes affected the heat network project and therefore required Member endorsement.
Combined heat and power was due to be phased out for new heat networks during 2025. Therefore, the first recommendation in the report proposed that the Heat Network should become a Zero Carbon Heat Network.
Members were asked to note that the Government had recently consulted on how Planning Authorities could have the powers to encourage both existing and new developments to connect to the network within a zone. The third recommendation in the report therefore proposed that a Heat Network zone should be pursued for the town centre project.
A new concession route to market was now available and there had been acknowledgement that not all local authorities wanted to directly invest in heat networks or to take on the associated risks. The concession approach enabled local authorities to procure a partner organisation in the private sector via a concession model to deliver the heat network. Therefore, the fourth recommendation proposed that the concession route to market should be pursued for Bromsgrove town centre. This route would need to be negotiated and therefore the fifth recommendation proposed that authority should be delegated to relevant officers to negotiate a Concession Agreement.
To ensure appropriate oversight of the project, a further recommendation had been made that a Project Board should be established to oversee the Zero Carbon Heat Network project.
1) In line with Government Policy, the Heat network becomes a Zero Carbon Heat Network (ZCHN);
2) The title “Bromsgrove Zero-Carbon Heat Network” be adopted;
A Heat Network Zone is pursued for the Town Centre
to support and compliment the ZCHN; and
4) The ZCHN project pursues the concession route to market;
5) Delegated authority be given to the Head of Community and Housing Services and the Head of Legal, Democratic and Property Services to procure and agree the Concession Agreement with qualifying energy companies;
6) Green Heat Network Funding ... view the full minutes text for item 18