`

Renewable energy to heat Northumberland fire stations

Rothbury Fire Station
Rothbury Fire Station

New renewable-energy systems are being installed in more of Northumberland’s fire stations.

Approval has been given by Northumberland County Council’s cabinet to invest in three more ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) at Bellingham, Allendale and Rothbury retained fire stations.

Work has already been completed at stations in Seahouses, Amble and Prudhoe and is already well under way at other key council assets.

GSHP is a technology that works by using the ground’s natural heat to warm water which can then be used to heat a building. This renewable technology will replace the current heating systems, increase the general temperature level to comfortable conditions and improve the energy efficiency of the building. The scheme also supports the council’s strategy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

While the cabinet approved funding of around £400,000 in capital costs for the three new schemes, forecasts predict the project will ultimately recoup its original investment plus generate a further £130,000 profit over the next 20 years.

The three completed fire stations and two other buildings where work is under way have seen a total investment of just over £1million with an anticipated profit return of more than £400,000 over 20 years.

Coun Nick Oliver, cabinet member for corporate services, said: “As a council, we are determined to do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint while looking at new ways of generating income.

“By using this innovative technology we can tap into the earth’s natural resources to heat some of our buildings and it’s a system we are looking to expand in the future.”

The initiatives are financially viable as they are supported by the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.