Boreholes up to two miles (3.2km) deep will be drilled in Manchester to use a thermal spring to heat homes. Proposals by GT Energy for the exploratory drilling in the Ardwick area have been approved by the council. If the two boreholes are successful, further plans will be submitted to create a network of underground pipes taking heat to houses. GT Energy says it will reduce energy costs for 6,000 homes and businesses. The initial boreholes will be installed at the junction of Devonshire Street and Coverdale Crescent.
Sunamp, a company based in East Lothian, is developing compact heat storage in heat batteries. These batteries will allow the intermittent output from renewable heat technologies such as Solar Thermal Panels, Heat Pumps, Biomass Boilers or supplies of waste heat to provide an output of heat when the user needs it. The company is currently carrying out a trial in seven houses owned by Berwickshire Housing Association. Tenants who are off the gas grid and who had their heating system converted from electric storage radiators to air source heat pumps had found their financial savings were only modest as a result of no longer being able to use off peak electricity. However, by using a heat battery in conjunction with an air source heat pump it is hoped that tenants can resume the use of cheaper off peak electricity, and thus boost savings.
The University Cumbria in Penrith decided to install a 300kW biomass boiler for its student accommodation at Newton Rigg. The project comprises of a series of detached residential blocks, which are connected by a district heating network of underground pipes from the energy centre. The scheme is expected to burn around 300 tons of wood a year. The capital cost of the scheme is expected to be £300,000, but fuel savings will be £40,000 per year.