Guest Blog: Codema Tallaght District Heating SchemeBack to News, Blogs & Events
Codema is project parnter with South Dublin County Council to develop the Tallaght District Heating Scheme (TDHS), which will establish a sustainable district heating solution in the Tallaght area to provide low-carbon heat to public sector, residential and commercial customers. The objective of this project is to decrease the GHG emissions associated with the use of fossil fuels for heating in Tallaght in order to contribute to national level renewable energy, energy efficiency and CO2 targets and establish Tallaght as a leader in innovation in the area of climate change. The scheme forms part of the council’s ambition for the Tallaght Town Centre LAP, and will receive funding of almost €4.5 million through the Government’s Climate Action Fund, as well as support from the HeatNet NWEproject.
This project delivers a high level of innovation in the heating sector, with the first Irish data centre to be used to supply waste heat to heat nearby buildings, and will be the only such system in Ireland and the UK. This project will allow transfer of knowledge and replication of solutions for other heat networks based around the growing number of data centres in Ireland. This ability to utilise indigenous heat sources helps to reduce Ireland’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and ensure security of supply for customers into the future. This system also has the potential to catalyse a new low-carbon heating sector in Ireland, generating long-term employment in the operation and maintenance of the scheme over its lifetime, expected to be in excess of 50 years, as well as significant specialised employment during the networks construction.
A local data centre has committed to the project, and has received planning permission with condition they will supply waste heat to the TDHS. The project has made significant progress to bring it to its current status, and has recently gone out to tender for Stage1 of the two-stage procurement process in order to ensure the project stays on track.
The first phase of this project will connect existing local authority buildings, new local authority buildings (innovation centre and housing), a new private sector high-density residential/commercial development, and the Institute of Technology Tallaght (pending final agreement), to a local heat network. The existing South Dublin County Council buildings connecting to the DH scheme are the County Hall offices and library, the Civic Theatre and the Rua Red building, totalling 27,000 m2 heated floor area. The new SDCC buildings include an 4,000 m2 innovation centre with flexible office space and demonstration kitchen area, and a new affordable housing development of 200 1 and 2 bed units, and are due to be complete by Q3 2021. Connection of the the public buildings outlined to the Tallaght District Heating Scheme will have a significant effect on public sector energy efficiency and CO2 targets, as well as decreasing the public spending on energy and fossil fuels.
The new private residential development at Belgard Gardens will comprise of 1,423 apartment units, 339 student units, and 12,250 m2 of commercial space. This forms a significant part of the plans for a new redeveloped Tallaght town centre, and will be home to more than 3000 people. All of these dwellings will be supplied by the Tallaght DH system, providing those citizens with low-cost, low-carbon, safe, secure, hassle-free heat supply.
The heat network will be supplied by a local low-grade waste heat source from a data centre, utilised through a centralised large-scale heat pump, housed in an on-site pump house. The pump house will include thermal storage facilities to take advantage of off-peak electricity and possibly demand response services, while also providing a source of back-up. The energy centre will include full peak load back-up to ensure heat supply can be met at all times in the event of any possible primary heat supply failures.
There are many more high density heat demands in this area, such as high rise apartments built circa 2006, which are currently heated by old inefficient electric storage heaters. Retrofitting and connecting these blocks would greatly lower costs for consumers, decrease carbon emissions and help to alleviate fuel poverty in the area.
The DH infrastructure outlined in this project will allow the project to be scaled up and have a direct impact far beyond the current scope outlined in the initial phases. The plan for the Tallaght DH scheme is to connect as many heat demands as possible, switching customers from current fossil fuel heat supply to low-carbon sustainably sourced heat supply.