The district of Southwark in London is to provide a first for the city when it supplies heating and hot water to parts of the borough generated through the South East London Combined Heat and Power energy recovery facility (SELCHP).

Southwark Council and Veolia Environmental Services say the heating network will be “the first of its kind in London”, according to Southwark Council, marking the first time that the heating potential of the SELCHP facility has been fully realised since it was built in the 1990s.

It represents an overall investment of £7 million and is forecast to be complete by the end of the year and will offer environmental improvements by allowing waste that cannot be recycled to provide low carbon heat to five estates in SE16.

The existing gas boilers on the five estates in Rotherhithe will be switched off resulting in a reduction of around 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum.

Since its inception, the SELCHP facility has generated electricity, which fed into the National Grid but until now, the extraction of heat, in the form of hot water that is created as part of the energy process, has not been possible. The facility processes around 430,000 tonnes of waste each year.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said:” Local heat and power supplies not only save Londoners money and reduce carbon emissions but also help to provide London with a more secure, sustainable, cost-effective energy supply.”

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