This was a project begun during the previous administration but with cross-party support. It actually originated from the community, though, who set up a Community Land Trust to move this project forward, and is very much a community-led scheme.
Cllr Lorna Dupre writes:
This was a project begun during the previous administration but with cross-party support. It actually originated from the community, though, who set up a Community Land Trust to move this project forward, and is very much a community-led scheme. View the video and details of the scheme .
Swaffham Prior is an East Cambridgeshire village of around 300 dwellings nine miles from the centre of Cambridge, and like around 10,000 properties in Cambridgeshire is dependent on oil for heating. Not only is this carbon-unfriendly, it’s also expensive for families as prices fluctuate. But so is installing solar panels or other means of generating renewable energy as an individual.
The scheme will use a nearby field which is part of the County Council’s rural farms estate to sink 180 boreholes for ground source heat pump installation. The field will then be re-covered and returned to agricultural use. A barn at the edge of the field will be substantially rebuilt to house the energy centre and some additional air source heat pump equipment. The resulting heat will then be piped to all households taking up the offer, providing a more economical and sustainable option for them than the ‘do nothing’ oil alternative.
The Council has also given officer expertise from its Climate Change & Energy Services team, to apply for Government funding, and set up the various contractual arrangements for design, build, operation, and maintenance of the energy generation part of the network, and of the piped system to the individual homes. The officers have been absolutely excellent—imaginative, flexible, and supportive throughout.