To consider the head of corporate services’ report.
Cabinet considered the head of corporate services’ report on the results of the Didcot Garden Town heat mapping and master-planning project. This sought approval to spend £90,000, jointly with Vale of White Horse District Council, on a feasibility study for a district heat network of pipes in north Didcot to use waste heat from Didcot Power Station. Cabinet noted that £60,000 of the cost would be sought from the government; the remaining £30,000 was being sought from existing resources in the Didcot Garden Town and Energy budgets, split 50:50 with the Vale.
Cabinet considered three options:
1. Present the feasibility study findings to key stakeholders and rely on other parties to initiate and develop the heat network, with the council promoting and offering advice
2. Present the study findings to key stakeholders and the council takes the lead, in partnership with others, in pursuing more detailed feasibility work on the technical and commercial viability of the project
3. To not participate in the development of a heat network
The report recommended that the council led the work on a heat network for north Didcot (option 2) but relied on other parties to lead on similar projects at Harwell Campus and Culham Science Centre (option 1). The projects could reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, improve air quality, and improve the affordability of fuel supply, thereby reducing fuel poverty. It could also contribute to the council’s aspirations for regeneration, inward investment, local jobs and growth.
Cabinet agreed to the report recommendations with the council taking the lead on carrying out more detailed feasibility work on the technical and commercial viability of a heat network for north Didcot.
(a) approve an application to Government for £60,000 match funding for a detailed feasibility study into the technical and commercial viability of a north Didcot district heat network using waste heat from Didcot Power Station;
(b) approve the allocation of £15,000 from existing resources in the Didcot Garden Town and Energy budgets, to fund this council’s share of this work; and
(c) subject to the above government grant funding being approved and received, to agree that the Cabinet member for development and regeneration can approve the implementation of the proposed project and authorise the head of development and regeneration to finalise terms of, and enter into, a drawdown contract for the appointment of AECOM to deliver the feasibility study under the Places for People Placemaking Hub framework approved at the Cabinet meeting on 5 October 2017, as permitted under the framework.