A green heating network in Béthune

The City of Béthune has selected Dalkia for its new heating network, which will serve 6,500 household equivalents via a public service concession. A single “green” network will replace the two existing networks and draw from local, renewable and recovered energy, including mine gas from former mines supplied by Française de l’Energie.

13 July 2017

The members of the Béthune Municipal Council met on 11 July 2017, to award the city’s new twenty-two-year public concession for heating and domestic hot water supply to Dalkia.

Both innovative and environmentally-friendly, Dalkia’s plan combines two local sources of recovered energy and includes a 6.7-km extension that will reach the local general hospital. In the longer term, another extension spanning 7 km will connect the network to the city’s waste-to-energy centre, increasing the coverage rate for renewable and recovered energy to 84%.

Works will begin in early 2018 and the new facilities will begin operating in 2019. In addition to these new facilities, the heating plant serving the city centre will be upgraded with a 2 MW combined heating and power facility and a new heating plant will be built in Mont Liébaut, which will feature 3 mixed natural gas/mine gas boilers producing 18 MW. Another 5.5 MW from the waste-to-energy centre will eventually be added to that value.

The heating network will be eligible for subsidies from the French Environment and Energy Management Agency and reduced VAT on heating rates thanks to its use of mine gas – recovered energy with direct ties to Bethune’s history. In terms of the environmental benefits, over 35% of CO2 emissions will be offset each year, in part by capturing the mine gas and preventing it from being released into the atmosphere.

The City of Béthune is delighted with the outcome of this historic project: a “smart” network that will further cement its status as a smart city. The new heating network represents a step forward in the energy transition – innovative, ingenious technology that uses local energy sources for heating, providing an ideal short distribution channel which is achieved by recovering end-energy from waste incineration at the waste-to-energy plant. The goal is to use 84% renewable energy after 2020. Furthermore, the new district heating network will boost residents’ purchasing power with controlled, attractive rates that are guaranteed for the next 22 years, in a region facing a difficult economic and social situation.

“I would like to thank the City of Béthune for placing their trust in this smart network project. Recovering naturally occurring mine gas will enable Dalkia to produce renewable heating and electricity from a local, competitive resource. Our energy services form part of an approach rooted in the circular economy that transforms residual waste into a resource and helps regions reach their emissions reduction targets.”

Sylvie Jéhanno, CEO of Dalkia

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