One of Ireland’s first district heating programmes has started operating in Tallaght, south Dublin.
The Tallaght District Heating Scheme takes waste heat from an Amazon data centre and uses it to heat South Dublin County Council offices and the local library. This environmentally friendly initiative provides low-carbon heat to nearby public buildings.
The Scheme, which is the first of its kind not-for-profit, publicly owned District Heating Scheme in Ireland, will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the South Dublin County area by approximately 1,500 tonnes per year in its first phase.
How it Works
The heat is carried by hot water pumped through a network of insulated pipes. The scheme will also serve 133 affordable apartments to be built on public land in Tallaght and a 3,500 sq/m innovation centre hosting tech start-ups on the same site.
The council says that over the lifetime of the scheme, it could also heat 2,000 to 3,000 apartments.
The objective of the scheme is to decrease greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of fossil fuels for heating in the area 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 Minister for the Environment and Climate described the Tallaght scheme as “an example of the future being delivered today”.
Speaking at the launch of the project Eamon Ryan TD said the Government will soon publish a heat policy as part of its Climate Action Plan commitments.
“The delivery of heat is probably one of the most important in Climate, you don’t tend to see it, it’s not as visible or as high profile as transport or agriculture, as electricity generation but actually managing how we use to heat and how we keep heat in is probably the biggest change we need to make to keep our climate targets,” Minister Ryan says.
For the Tallaght project, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Ireland donates the waste heat from its data centre which is used to pipe water into the Heatworks Energy Centre next door.
Amazon Web Services, Ireland Country Manager Mike Beary says the company is very happy to be involved.
“We’ve been investing in Tallaght for 15 years. Amazon Web Services has been part of this community, and we’re very proud of our relationships with this community here. This is also a part of the drive to help Ireland meet its climate change targets for 2030.”
Codema, the energy agency for Dublin, says most homes in the capital could be served by district heating systems by 2050.
Codema is the project partner with South Dublin County Council to develop the Tallaght District Heating Scheme (TDHS), which is the first large-scale district heating network of its kind in Ireland.
Waste heat from data centres, power stations and other industrial facilities will be one source but there is also a significant geothermal resource.
What are the Benefits?
- Lower emissions and greater use of renewable energy
- Hot water on demand 24/7 – very reliable system, no more worrying about leaving the immersion on!
- No boiler in your home – more space, less maintenance
- Improved air quality
- Better Building Energy Ratings
- Flexible system – future-proofed to provide heat from multiple renewable sources
- Cost – The heat price will be competitive with alternative heating technologies
The scheme is funded by the European Union’s NWE Interreg HeatNet programme, a multi-million-euro fund for schemes that reduce CO2 emissions in Europe’s north-west, by €4.5 million from the Project Ireland 2040 Climate Action Fund and through direct funding from South Dublin County Council.
Phase one of the Tallaght District Heating Scheme will provide heat to over 32,800msq of public buildings including South Dublin County Council’s office headquarters and the TU Dublin Tallaght campus. During normal operation, the connected buildings will be warmed by heat generated at the data centre.
The subsequent phases of the project will facilitate the connection of other public, private, and residential customers in the Tallaght area including the proposed 133 affordable rental apartments in Tallaght, as well as further buildings within TU Dublin’s Tallaght Campus currently under construction.
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