South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield Forgemasters and a set of sports venues are joining a new £20 million heat network.
The three businesses will connect up to the network which energy firm E.ON is building in the Lower Don valley.
An 8km pipe network will hook them up to E.ON’s soon-to-be-completed Blackburn Meadows power plant. It will produce 29MW of electricity by burning renewably sourced wood.
The sports sites – owned by Sheffield International Venues – are iceSheffield, the English Institute of Sport Sheffield and the Motorpoint Arena.
E.ON expects the five buildings will see an average carbon saving of 70% compared to other sources of heating such as gas boilers.
The police force also hopes to save some cash on its energy bills.
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright said: “In these current times of austerity, it is important that we all work together to save money and improve efficiencies. I am very keen to take advantage of this unique opportunity.”
For the energy intensive steelmakers, the district heating network isn’t necessarily the end of the line for heat.
Victoria Hinchcliffe, Group Environment Director at Sheffield Forgemasters said: “We look forward to supporting this local project as well as exploring how we may potentially capture some of our own waste heat to feed back in to the network in the future.”
While Sheffield International Venues’ Deputy Chief Executive Andrew Snelling said the project plays a “major part” of its strategy to slash its carbon footprint.
Don Leiper, Director of New Business at E.ON added that capturing the heat for nearby businesses is “effectively almost doubling the efficiency of the plant”.