AWS to provide free recycled heat to Ireland’s new energy company

14 Dec 2020

From left: Mike Beary of AWS with architect Eddie Conroy and Daniel McLoughlin of SDCC. Image: SDCC

Ireland’s first publicly owned, not-for-profit energy company will begin supplying heat before the end of 2021.

South Dublin County Council (SDCC) is establishing a new publicly owned energy company, which will supply low-carbon heat to local buildings, with support from Codema, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Finnish energy company Fortum eNext.

The collaboration optimises the potential of recyclable heat combined with additional heat-pump technology.

Trading as Heatworks, the company will deliver the Tallaght District Heating Network. When completed, this network aims to reduce carbon emissions in the South Dublin County area by nearly 1,500 tonnes per year.

The network will use excess heat from AWS’s recently completed data centre to provide low-carbon heat to residential, commercial and public sector customers.

AWS will provide free, recycled heat to the scheme as part of its broader sustainability activities and its continued assistance to Ireland in meeting EU 2030 national heating and carbon-reduction targets.

Fortum eNext has been contracted to design, install and operate the network due to the company’s experience with district heating throughout Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

The system will initially heat 47,000 sq m of public sector buildings, 3,000 sq m of commercial space, and 135 rental apartments.

The project will begin supplying heat before the end of 2021. Its initial customers will include the SDCC’s County Hall and Tallaght County Library, followed by the Rua Red arts hub and the Civic Theatre. It will also supply heat to the nearby Tallaght campus of TU Dublin.

By 2024, the heat will also be supplied to nearby developments recently approved with planning permission, including affordable housing units, residential properties and student accommodation.

The Tallaght District Heating Network is partly funded by the EU’s Interreg NWE programme, a multimillion-euro fund promoting carbon reduction through district heating in Europe’s north-west. The network also received €4.5m from the Project Ireland 2040 Climate Action Fund as well as direct funding from SDCC.

AWS’s country manager, Mike Beary, said the company is thrilled to support Ireland’s first district heating system using excess heat from its data centre. “Our support for the district heating scheme demonstrates our continued commitment to building a more sustainable future for Ireland.”

Fortum eNext’s general manager, Kari Lahti, added that the Finnish energy supply company is extremely proud to be chosen to take part in the project. “Our know-how has been developed and tested during our 25-year-long presence in Ireland and the UK, where we have delivered power plants and long-term operation and maintenance services for different kinds of power plants and customers.”

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic