Tube lines to heat Islington as part of ground-breaking council scheme

Matthew Pencharz (left) and Cllr Richard Watts at the Bunhill Energy Centre

Matthew Pencharz (left) and Cllr Richard Watts at the Bunhill Energy Centre - Credit: Archant

Islington homes will soon be heated by tube trains thanks to a ground-breaking scheme from the council.

Waste heat from London Underground tunnels, which maintain temperatures of around 28C through the winter, will also be used to generate electricity which will be sold back to the grid.

The scheme, which was cooked up in 2010 and could be up and running in 2016, is the first of its kind in Europe and has the potential to be rolled out across London – heating 38 per cent of homes in the capital.

The project, which is a partnership between Islington Council, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, UK Power Networks and Transport for London, will run through the £4.2million Bunhill Heat and Power heat network in Central Street.

Harnessing energy from the Tube lines and the substation in city road will heat another 500 homes on top of the 800 homes for which the Bunhill network is currently providing a 10pc reduction of energy bills.

Councillor Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: “Given how much people are being ripped off at the moment, we would like to start taking on the big six.

“The first power station built by the council in Holloway Road was to power the street lights before the energy sector was nationalised.

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“We see this as a start of a wider programme – local generation for the benefit of local people.”

With the council now working alongside the Mayor’s office many other London boroughs, including Hackney and Southwark, are interested in the scheme which will act as a test for what is achievable across the city as a whole.

Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor of London’s senior advisor on Environment and Energy, said: “We need to do everything possible to create a more secure, cost-effective and sustainable heat and power supply for London.

“This scheme will show what is possible and how we are able to evolve. We hope that it will create a more secure future for the city and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.”