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Food producers to benefit from first low energy network

UK: A new low-carbon energy network at a new business community in Derby is set to cut carbon emissions for food manufacturing by 30,000 tonnes per year. 

The 186,000mSmartParc, which is home to the UK’s first low-carbon food manufacturing community, will use the latest technologies to provide the cooling and heating needs for the food manufacturers on the site, whilst future-proofing the industry. 

Supported by environmental services company Veolia, SmartParc will use wind and solar initially, combined with central services, to deliver sustainable food production. 

The scheme incorporates industrial ammonia chillers and heat pumps supplying energy through a 9.8km district cooling infrastructure. This is designed to deliver a diversified cold glycol cooling duty of 11MW at -6°C and, by capturing the waste heat from the refrigeration plant, will provide hot water capability of up to 10MW at 72°C across the park. 

The cooling system is anticipated to provide an annual CO₂e saving of around 27,000 tonnes between 2024 and 2030. By capturing process heat, the heating network will deliver a further CO₂e saving of 3,500 tonnes per year, with the potential to double this compared to gas boilers. 

Veolia designed the pipe network and will operate the entire heating, cooling and high voltage distribution across the 155-acre site on behalf of SmartParc, including managing metering and billing and providing 24/7 year-round engineering support.

“By collaborating with food manufacturers, we can identify and implement new innovative solutions that support essential food production and deliver major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions,” commented Veolia UK & Ireland COO John Abraham.

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