Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy team visits King's Cross district energy network

Metropolitan's district energy network, at the prestigious King's Cross development in central London, was visited recently by a team from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) including Emma Floyd, the Project Director of the Heat Networks Investment Project. The team, who are responsible for the policies and funding which encourage the implementation of new district energy networks, was keen to see a mature network in operation.

King's Cross is a major regeneration project and when complete will consist of 2000 new homes and 3.4 million square feet of commercial property. The onsite district heating network began supplying customers in 2013 and continues to expand as the new homes and businesses are built. The visitors were able to view the energy centre in operation, with the gas-powered Combined Heat and Power engines serving heat to the development. Whilst on the tour they visited a completed residential property and saw the consumer interface with Metropolitan's network – metering, the in-home display and the heat interface unit (HIU).

The district cooling network at King's Cross will shortly become operational and the team was interested to learn more about this innovation, incorporating absorption cooling technology.

They also heard about the fuel-cell project, currently under consideration, which will deliver an alternative future source of heat for the network to meet increased demands as construction on the site moves to completion. Fuel cells convert gas into hydrogen and then into carbon dioxide and water, a highly efficient and low-carbon way of generating electricity, achieving 90% efficiency with no particulate emissions.

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