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Members receive update on heat network plans

Bridgend County Borough Council's Civic Offices on Angel Street (Pic: Bridgend County Borough Council)

MEMBERS of Bridgend County Borough Council have received an update on how plans for phase one of
the Bridgend Town Heat Network project are progressing.

Designed to use a gas-powered combined generator located within Bridgend Life Centre to deliver and
share heat and electricity with the nearby Bowls Hall and Civic Offices, the plans have received more
than £1m from UK Government for the construction of the network, along with a further £241,000 for
pre-construction activities.

While contractors for the work have been selected, several new challenges have arisen due to inflation,
increases in interest rates and increased costs for plant, labour and materials. As a result, council
officers are discussing ways of reducing costs with contractors.

An outline business case has been created for phase two of the network, and the council is now
looking at using a water source heat pump system. Installed within the Glanrhyd hospital boundary, this
would capture heat from the Ogmore River, and use gas boilers as backup or to meet peak heat

Around 20 buildings are included in the current design for the scheme, which incorporates both the
Glanrhyd and Princess of Wales hospitals, South Wales Police Training Centre, Bridgend College and
local schools.

Sites have been identified for a private wire-connected solar system along with options for using both
sleeved or directly connected wind power and additional solar power.

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Speaking at the meeting, Councillor John Spanswick, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and
Environment, said: “It is intended that phase one of the work will be adopted into phase two, thereby
replacing the gas generator with a zero carbon energy source.

“We have updated the financial modelling, both to account for inflationary-driven increases in
construction costs and to use the most recent projections around energy prices and emissions. This
has confirmed that despite this, the project is still financially viable.

“A  number of options were considered for the future development of both phases of the network. Our
preferred option is to transfer delivery of  the phase one infrastructure into the phase two development,
and to explore commercial opportunities for ownership, delivery, and operation by a third party.

“Potential delivery partners could include the Cardiff Capital Region, Welsh Government or private
sector companies. These options are all currently being explored, and we will be reporting back on
latest developments in due course.”