Heat Works proves value of sustainablity at Climate Awards

Not-for-profit energy utility resuses heat generated by local data centre
Image: TDHS

4 December 2023

Tallaght District Heating Scheme (TDHS) has won the the emerging district energy market award at the Global District Energy Climate Awards in Brussels. The award recognises the successful implementation of a district energy system in a country where district heating is currently being established.

Heat Works, Ireland’s first not-for-profit energy utility, is fully owned by the South Dublin County Council. The TDHS is the first large-scale district heating network of its kind in Ireland. Launched earlier this year, the scheme represents a significant leap forward in Ireland’s efforts to deliver low-carbon heating solutions.

The heart of the innovation lies in the fact that waste heat generated by the nearby Amazon data centre is harnessed to supply heat to the TDHS network. The collaborative effort between South Dublin County Council, Amazon Web Services, Fortum (the Finnish energy-supply company), has resulted in a low-carbon solution, leveraging recyclable heat through bespoke innovative heat-pump technology. The partnership between South Dublin County Council and Codema (City of Dublin Energy-management agency) has been instrumental in the development of this innovative, low-carbon initiative.

The environmental impact is substantial, with the TDHS set to save almost 1,500 tonnes of CO2 annually. This achievement not only establishes Tallaght as a leader in climate change innovation but also contributes significantly to the county’s carbon reduction goals. By showcasing the environmental value and potential of district heating in Tallaght, the project aims to inspire similar initiatives across Ireland.

Funded with the support of the European Union’s Interreg NWE programme (HeatNet), the Project Ireland 2040 Climate Action Fund, SEAI, and with direct funding from the Council, the Tallaght District Heating Scheme aligns with the ambitious targets set in the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2023. The plan envisions Ireland reaching up to 0.8 TWh of district heating by 2025 and up to 2.7 TWh by 2030, emphasising the commitment to sustainable energy solutions.

Teresa Walsh, director of services in SDCC and secretary to the board of Heatworks, said: “This award is a testament to the collaborative efforts and commitment to innovation showcased by the Public and Private stakeholders involved. The Tallaght District Heating Scheme is not only a local success story for a committed and courageous local authority but a working exemplar for the broader transition to low-carbon heating solutions across Ireland.”

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