Creating a carbon-cutting district heat network

The development involves creating spaces for living, playing and working. As part of this ambitious project, Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) are supporting a local authority to procure a district heat network which will be the first of its kind in the UK, and are making use of funding from the Department for Business, Enterprise & Industrial Strategy.

Taking advantage of natural hot springs, the district heat network will extract warm water from below the ground via a series of boreholes. This water will then go to the energy centre, and from there a warm water supply will be directed through a pipe network to supply homes and businesses with heat. The result? Fewer carbon emissions will be generated than from standard gas boiler systems.

Being the first to do something so innovative creates its own challenges. From ensuring funding is spent compliantly to producing all legal documents, there have been a number of hurdles. ACS have helped the council navigate the unknowns and provided fast-paced legal support with work often being turned around within 24 hours.

The ACS team are able to advise across all areas, including construction, state aid and public procurement. This means we’ve been able to provide the council with rounded advice throughout the entire process.

How we helped procure the heat network

  • We managed complex issues around funding.
  • We provided guidance through the negotiated procedure under The Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016.
  • We worked with the council’s other consultants by reviewing the tender documents to make sure they were compliant.
  • We provided strategic guidance on the contractual and company structure.
  • We produced the contractual documents including the main building contract, a separate term contract and an operate and maintain agreement for the energy centre.

What’s next?

Anthony Collins Solicitors continue to support the local authority, with work on the ground anticipated to start soon. The team have also worked on heat supply agreements for use with the commercial and residential tenants.

“This project is the first of its kind in the UK. We need schemes like this one to push innovation forward and support the government’s plan of reducing carbon emissions.”

Martin Brown, associate, Anthony Collins Solicitors

Martin Brown
0121 212 7424

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