An energy project at the £120 million Skypark development, east of Exeter, will also power the new community of Cranbrook, making it one of the first low carbon schemes in the UK to provide combined heat and power communities to all residents.
A district heating network using renewable energy is one of the most efficient ways of delivering low carbon housing schemes such as Cranbrook in East Devon, however such schemes require significant capital investment at the outset. This cost has so far been out of reach for house builders.
A combination of £3.7 million grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) Low Carbon Infrastructure Fund (announced last year) and further contributions of £400,000 from the local authority partners, together with significant investment from E.ON, St Modwen and Cranbrook’s developers, has successfully bridged the funding gap enabling this scheme to go ahead.
A biomass district heating scheme for the first 2,900 homes at Cranbrook could provide an estimated, 10,000 tones of C02 savings a year and could set a precedent for all national house builder to follow.
East Devon District Council approved planning permission for the scheme’s energy centre which is to be built on the site of the Skypark development near Exeter Airport (subject to the signing of a section 106 agreement).