South Tyneside Council has announced the completion of the Viking Energy Network, a pioneering renewable energy project that is expected to cut annual carbon emissions by 1,035 tonnes. The project, the first of its kind in the UK, combines a river source heat pump, a combined heat and power system, a solar farm, and a private wire electrical network with storage battery. The scheme will export low-grade heat from the River Tyne to council-owned buildings, including Jarrow Focus leisure centre, residential tower blocks, Jarrow Business Centre and Jarrow Town Hall. The project represents South Tyneside Council’s commitment to net zero and a switch to cleaner, more secure energy sources. Collectively, the council’s three highly innovative projects, of which the Viking network is one, will cut carbon emissions by more than 4,000 tonnes. Colloide Engineering Systems Ltd constructed the network.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “This network is the first of its kind and is unique in that it will combine three renewable technologies, ensuring minimal use of fossil fuels. It demonstrates our commitment to net zero and a switch to cleaner, more secure energy sources.” The council declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and pledged to make the council carbon neutral by 2030. Managing Director Paddy McGuiness of Colloide Engineering Systems said: “The Viking Energy Network at Jarrow exemplifies Colloide’s core values of Engineering Excellence and Sustainability…adds significant social value within the community.”