Gateshead Council has been awarded a grant of almost six million pounds to double the size of its heat network in Gateshead Town Centre using heat from water flowing through abandoned mines.
The £5.9m grant will enable the council-owned Gateshead Energy Company to install 5.5 kilometres of new heating pipes, which are expected to supply a further 12GWh of heat to up to 1,250 new private homes, a care home, Gateshead International Stadium and other council-owned building in Felling.
The funding will also help to install a 6MW water source heat pump, which will extract heat from water in underground mine workings some 150 metres beneath Gateshead town centre.
It says the council is working closely with experts from the Coal Authority who manage all the disused mine workings under Gateshead to ensure the success of the project.
John McElroy, Gateshead Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for energy, said: “The council has always seen the development of low-carbon energy as key to meeting our climate change goals, but also in generating lower-cost energy for residents and organisations in Gateshead.
“There must be hundreds of miles of abandoned mine workings beneath Gateshead and many of them are flooded providing access to a sustainable source of heat, so there is a huge scope for more initiatives like this.
“It is particularly satisfying that we can exploit the forgotten remains of an old industry and a heavily polluting one at that to create clean green energy.”