Colloide Engineering Systems have appointed BCE Northern as their Civil Engineering Contractor for the Substructure Groundwork foundations, Superstructure floor slabs, Drainage and External Ductworks Works, Remediation and Foundations of the solar farm as part of the groundbreaking Viking Energy Network at Jarrow. 

This district heating system is the first of its kind in the country and would work by harnessing low-grade heat from the river and exporting it to 11 buildings, including high-rise flats, schools and sheltered housing. 

The multi-million-pound energy network would slash annual carbon emissions by an estimated 1,035 Tonnes and save around half a million pounds a year. 

An energy center serving the network will be built on an existing council-owned brownfield site at Jarrow Staithes on the south bank of the River Tyne. The system plans to combine a river source heat pump, a combined heat and power (CHP) back-up system, a 1 MW solar farm, and a private wire electrical network with storage battery. 

Water source heat pumps work by extracting heat from a body of water, compressing it to increase the temperature and then converting it into useful energy in the form of hot water in a network of insulated pipes connecting buildings. The solar farm would provide much of the electricity to power the heat pump. 

CHP – which would be used on occasions when the solar panels hadn’t generated sufficient electricity – is a highly-efficient process that harnesses the heat that is a by-product of the electricity generation process and which would otherwise be wasted.