Waste heat from the London Underground to heat homes

Waste heat from the London Underground will be used to provide heating to 1,350 homes, a school and two leisure centres. 

A new energy centre which opened yesterday (March 5) is the first of its kind to use wasted energy from an underground transport network to power buildings.

The Bunhill 2 Energy Centre has been built on the site of a former Underground station that has been out of use for almost 100 years.

The site has been turned into a place to house a huge underground fan which extracts warm air from the Northern Line. The hot air is used to heat water using warm air from the tube, the water temperature is increased further still using heat pumps before it is sent to around the network of underground pipes to buildings.

The station uses heat that would otherwise go to waste, it is estimated that it will help to reduce CO2 emissions by around 500 tonnes each year.

It will also cut the heating bills for council tenants who are connected to the network by around 10%.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: ‘It’s great to see this highly innovative project up and running, recycling waste heat from the Tube to provide a low-carbon, affordable way of heating local homes and businesses.

‘I’ve set London the target of being carbon-neutral by 2030. It’s an ambition that will require innovative projects like Bunhill to help deliver it.

‘If we’re truly going to tackle the climate emergency we will need progressive partnerships between local authorities, City Hall, TfL and others as was demonstrated so perfectly by this project.’

Andy Lord, managing director of the London Underground, said: ‘Capturing waste heat from Tube tunnels and using it to supply heating and hot water to thousands of local homes hasn’t been done anywhere in the world before so this ground-breaking partnership with Islington Council is a really important step.

‘Heat from the London Underground has the potential to be a significant low-carbon energy source and we are carrying out further research, as part of our energy and carbon strategy, to identify opportunities for similar projects across the Tube network.’

Photo Credit – Bunhill 2 Energy Centre


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