A £26.5m district heating network that will use heat from Viridor’s energy-from-waste (EfW) facility at Trident Park, Cardiff, has secured almost £15m to start the first phase of works.

This comprises an £8.6m loan from the Welsh Government and a £6m grant from the UK Government made via Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, its delivery partner for the £320m programme of heat networks investment in England and Wales. 

Cardiff City Heating Network will use heat generated from Viridor’s plant (pictured) to generate enough electricity to power around 68,448 households.

The first phase will serve a number of mainly public buildings in the vicinity and could be extended in later phases.

Viridor chief executive Phil Piddington said the company’s EfW plants across the UK had been designed to work as combined heat and power (CHP) plants.

Piddington said: “Viridor has developed CHP plants which attach a purpose to waste which can’t be recycled because this is how we meaningfully contribute to both energy and resource efficiency in the UK. 

“The opportunity to see the full potential of Trident Park realised through this exciting project is the natural progression we have been working so hard to achieve with district heating network partners.”

The heat network will be owned by an independent company through a special purpose vehicle, with Cardiff City Council as a major shareholder.

Triple Point has also allocated £1.2m to Bridgend Town Heat Network, which will initially serve public sector buildings in the town centre but allow for expansion in the vicinity. 

Minister for energy and clean growth Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Projects in Bridgend and Cardiff will help to connect as many homes and businesses as possible to low-carbon affordable heating. By cutting bills and emissions, we can achieve our net zero target in a way that works for residents across the UK.”

The Welsh Government has identified priority areas for district heat networks in 14 locations and Triple Point said it had eight further Welsh schemes in preparation.