Cherwell District Council (Posted 21.09.014)

Things are hotting up in Bicester

A pioneering scheme which could use household waste to heat up to 6,000 homes in Bicester is continuing to move forward with the appointment of specialist consultants to investigate the scheme.

Earlier this year Cherwell District Council received a grant of £83,000 from the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Heat Network Delivery Unit to fund a feasibility study exploring the possibility of using Viridor’s Energy Recovery Facility at Ardley to heat the north west Bicester eco-town which is located about one mile away.

Following the awarding of the grant, Cherwell and its sustainability partners, BioRegional undertook a rigorous procurement exercise and subsequently appointed engineering design and consultancy company Ramboll, to undertake the study and further explore the reality of the proposals.

Cllr Tony Ilott, lead member for clean and green, said: “This was a competitive tendering process where all applicants were judged on a variety of strict criteria including their quality and pricing before an overall decision was made.

“The plan to heat homes at the eco-town would involve the installation of an insulated hot water pipe system to transfer heat generated from Viridor’s Energy Recovery Facility at Ardley to properties at north west Bicester. As this is a complex procedure, we need to ensure all aspects of the scheme are thoroughly explored and evaluated by leading experts without bias. We are therefore delighted to announce the appointment of Ramboll as we are confident they will be able to complete a comprehensive feasibility study and give us a realistic summary of the deliverability of this scheme.”

The decision to appoint Ramboll was made by representatives of Cherwell District Council and partners from Oxfordshire County Council and leading sustainability charity BioRegional who will all be involved in the delivery of the project.

Ramboll will now begin gathering the necessary data and information to undertake the technical and commercial feasibility study. An update will be given to key stakeholders at a December meeting with an interim report due in February 2015. A final report on the proposal will then be submitted by Ramboll in summer 2015.

Map showing possible pipe route following line of railway.