Solent University Sports Complex successfully connects to Southampton District Energy Scheme

Solent University’s new sports complex has been successfully connected to Southampton Geothermal Heating Company’s (SGHC) pioneering district energy scheme after signing a £2.8 million deal with energy and services specialist, ENGIE, over the next 20 years.

The SGHC is a working partnership between ENGIE and Southampton City Council, launching more than 30 years ago. The scheme supplies heat, chilled water and electricity to commercial and residential energy users across Southampton – currently serving a 2km radius of the energy centre.

Users already included TV studios, a hospital, shopping centre, student accommodation, residential buildings and hotels; with Solent University tasking ENGIE with the implementation of a new heating connection which would link up existing assets, as well as a new state-of-the-art sports centre. 

The SGHC currently saves around 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum, using heat from a large-scale combined heat and power (CHP) plant, supplemented by geothermal energy and conventional boilers.

The University required a new District Heating connection with a substation, to provide heating and domestic hot water for the new facilities with predicted annual heating consumption of 620MWh/annum and a contractual peak load of 875 kW; which ENGIE is poised to deliver through the connection to SGHC.

Approximately 150 m of Pre-insulated District Heating Steel Pipework were installed, adjacent to the Southampton Solent University building on East Park Terrace, Southampton. 

Andrew Hart, Managing Director for ENGIE’s Urban Energy business, said: “Southampton is an exemplar of district energy solutions that stand the test of time.  We have successfully operated in the city for more than three decades – delivering low carbon and cost-effective energy – so the addition of Solent University to the scheme is a welcome one.

“We have adopted an incredibly flexible approach to our service delivery, to ensure we can continue making connections to the scheme and extend this unique solution.  We look forward to working with our partners in the council, as well as the University over the next 20 years to deliver a first-rate service for people and businesses in the region.”

Paul Colbran, Chief Info & Infrastructure Officer at Solent University, said: “Solent is undergoing a £100 million estate redevelopment programme to provide new and improve current campus facilities, and the new sports complex is just one element of that programme.

“With such a large infrastructure project and our desire to be cleaner, greener and more environmentally sustainable, the geothermal system helps us keep our emissions down and makes sense connecting with the current infrastructure already in place.”

ENGIE has confirmed the new system is now operational – delivering heating and cooling for the sports centre and beyond.