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Leisure centre to have new low-carbon heating system

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Council bosses are expected to approve the purchase of an innovative new heating system for Crystal Leisure Centre at cabinet next week.

The Dudley Council owned facility currently has gas fuelled boilers, which are past the point of economical repair, as well as a combined heat and power plant, operated under a contract soon to end.

A new open-loop heat pump is being proposed as the most cost effective solution that also has considerable environmental benefits. The innovative system would use ground-water extracted via a bore-hole as a source of heat. Heat pumps would be used to boost the temperature to suitable levels, before the ground-water is returned.

For each KWh of electricity used, the system will be able to produce four to five KWhs of heat and as the technology is low-carbon it will help the authority to achieve its ambition of becoming a cleaner, greener borough. 

The overall cost of the project is estimated at £600,000. The council will receive a subsidy payment under the Renewable Heat Incentive, worth an estimated £126,000 per year.

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member responsible for leisure centres, said:

We are working towards creating a cleaner, greener borough and being more energy efficient in our facilities is an important part of this.
Crystal Leisure Centre has had its current heating system for over 20 years and we are confident this new system will have a positive impact on the environment and will reduce some of our operational costs.”

Leisure centre activities are part of a borough-wide holiday programme. The council aim to encourage increased participation in sport and physical activity, along with the Let’s Get initiative, which also supports a move towards healthier eating. For more information visit www.lets-get.com or search @letsgetdudley on Twitter.

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More information on open-loop heat pumps is available via the British Geological Survey website (https://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/energy/geothermal/gshp.html)

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