Veolia backs ‘UK’s first’ low carbon food production energy network

The project is predicted to reduce food manufacturing emissions by 30,000 tonnes annually at the food manufacturing community, SmartParc, near Derby

An innovative low carbon energy network, supported by Veolia, is set to reduce carbon emissions in the UK’s food manufacturing sector.

The system, located at the SmartParc site near Derby, forms the “UK’s first” low carbon food manufacturing community, covering an extensive area of 186,000 square metres.

This network will provide essential heating and cooling for food manufacturers on the site, incorporating the latest technologies.

Many food manufacturers require both heating and cooling for storage, processing, space heating, and hygiene activities.

The system will initially harness wind and solar energy along with central services to enable sustainable food production.

The network integrates industrial ammonia chillers and heat pumps, with the resulting energy distributed through a 9.8-kilometre district cooling infrastructure.

This infrastructure is designed to provide diversified cold glycol cooling and hot water capabilities by capturing waste heat from the refrigeration plant.

The cooling system is expected to save approximately 27,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually between 2024 and 2030.

The heating network, through the capture of process heat, is expected to contribute a further CO2e saving of 3,500 tonnes per year, with the potential to double this compared to conventional gas boilers.

An additional environmental benefit is derived from the use of ammonia refrigerant, which has zero global warming potential compared to synthetic hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant systems.

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