The district energy network has been providing an economical, low carbon and environmentally-friendly heat source to buildings in Sheffield since 1988. It is one of the largest, oldest and most successful district energy networks in the UK, supplying over 2,800 homes and 140 commercial and public sector buildings with a sustainable energy source. It reaches into many areas of Sheffield including Netherthorpe, Western Bank, the Heart of the City and Weston Park Hospital. It also supplies the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield City Hall, Ponds Forge, Weston Park Hospital, the Universities and the Millennium Galleries. Over the last 22 years Vital Energi’s team of engineers have installed a network of more than 44km of specialist pre-insulated pipework beneath the streets of Sheffield’s City Centre and beyond.
The Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Sheffield, generates electricity for the National Grid and heat for the city's heat network from t'he city's rubbish. Energy Recovery with district heat as part of an integrated waste management system helps to create the best practical environmental option for Sheffield. Heat provided by the district energy network, powered by the ERF, prevents around 21,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from being released every year.
In the 1970s the waste incinerator was connected to a small network of underground pipes to deliver heat to local homes. In the 1980s, the network was expanded and the ERF developed to generate electricity. A new ERF was opened in 2007 designed to cope with the amount of rubbish created in the city today and to meet new stricter environmental legislation regarding emissions.
The ERF is designed to handle up to 225,000 tonnes of household rubbish a year and generates up to 21MW of electricity to the National Grid. That is enough to power more than 25,000 homes. It also provides up to 45MW of heat to over 140 buildings on the district energy network.
Over the past 22 years Vital Energi has continually been contracted to supply and install pipework across the whole of Sheffield City Centre. Carbon emission reduction aims and a high quality approach has resulted in Vital Energi continually being the partner of choice for the Sheffield urban regeneration scheme by Veolia. The Sheffield district heating scheme won the first CHPA Community Heating Award for its innovative, city-centre community heating scheme