Underground line to heat up homes in north London

Waste heat from the Northern Line will be harnessed to provide heating and hot water to around 1,000 homes in Islington

Heat from the London Underground will be used to keep homes warm this winter under a new scheme.

Transport for London (TfL) said waste heat from the Northern Line will be harnessed and channelled to provide heating and hot water to around 1,000 homes in Islington.

The Bunhill heat network in Islington already provides heating to more than 800 homes in Bunhill ward as well as Finsbury Leisure Centre, Ironmonger Row Baths and offices on Old Street.

The second phase of the project involves building a new energy centre at the top of Central Street, connecting the King’s Square Estate to the network and adding capacity to supply an additional 1,000 homes.

It will include a 1MW heat pump that will recycle the wasted heat from a ventilation shaft on the Northern Line and will transfer that heat into the hot water network.

During the summer months, the system will be reversed to inject cool air into the tube tunnels.

The scheme is a joint project between Islington Council, TfL and engineering company Ramboll.

TfL said heat from the London Underground has the potential to be a “significant low carbon energy source”.

A spokesperson told ELN in an e-mailed statement: “This partnership with Islington Council will capture waste heat from the Northern line tunnels and supply heat and hot water to hundreds of local homes – the first scheme of its kind in Europe. We are also carrying out further research to identify opportunities for similar projects across the network.”

According to the Greater London Authority, wasted heat in London could help meet around 38% of the city’s heating demand.

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