The £70 million mixed use development which includes 56 homes and 81 luxury private apartments, has been created by NHP Leisure Developments on the site of a former power station in Kingston upon Thames.
The community heating scheme takes renewable heat from the sun, stored in the river water and boosts it to the temperature required for the underfloor heating and hot water.
River water passes through a state of the art two stage filtration process that ensures no aquatic life can enter the system. Inside a purpose built plant room adjacent to the river, the water passes through high efficiency heat exchangers and once the low grade heat has been harvested, the water is immediately fed back into the river, untreated.
Heat exchangers transfer this low grade heat from the river water to an internal closed loop water system and it is then carried 200 metres to a plant room in the apartment building, where Mitsubishi Electric’s advanced heat pump technology boosts the low grade heat to the temperature required for heating and hot water.
Ed Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change and MP for Kingston and Surbiton, switched on the system. “Kingston Heights is a great example of how sustainable solutions can help power entire communities, he commented. “I want to see a community energy revolution where projects like this are the norm, not the exception. This project will not only transform the waterfront area in Kingston, but also means residents’ bills will be lower than if they used gas.
“The Thames is a great natural asset to Kingston and London as a whole. By capturing the heat permanently stored in the river to provide heat and hot water to the whole development the project shows the enormous potential of renewable energy.”