First UK Project for E.ON’s Pioneering ectogrid™ Low Carbon Energy Network

E.ON and Australian real estate developer Lendlease have signed an agreement to build a pioneering low carbon energy network for more than 6,000 new homes and business properties at Silvertown in east London.

The 760,000 m² Silvertown site will be the UK’s first development of E.ON’s pioneering ectogrid™ system, an energy sharing heat network based on heat pump technology that, once complete, will save approximately 4,000 tonnes of CO2 a year – 88 percent lower emissions than from traditional gas boilers.

The core principle of ectogrid™ is to provide heating and cooling by first using existing energy sources available locally, such as air, water or ground. Each connected building sends excess heating or cooling to other buildings as needed, and by sharing, balancing, and storing energy in rotation, ectogrid™ uses all available energy before adding any ‘new’ energy, drastically reducing consumption, costs and environmental impact.

Silvertown will be transformed into a vibrant new heart for the Royal Docks and a new visitor destination for London. Plans include the construction of around 6,500 homes alongside new generation workplaces, stores, restaurants, bars and a water sports centre, as well as the restoration of the iconic Millennium Mills. The regeneration of the area will provide significant opportunities for the local community and create more than 6,000 new jobs.

“Around half of the energy in Europe is used for heating and cooling, mainly from non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels. This is precisely why we offer our customers innovative, reliable and affordable solutions in this area, using pioneering technology to reduce the CO2 emissions of entire neighbourhoods or cities,” Marc Spieker, COO Customer Solutions at E.ON, emphasized.

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Lendlease, and a low carbon energy network is central to our vision for Silvertown. We’re delighted to extend our relationship with E.ON and to be working with them to deliver their pioneering ectogrid™ in the UK for the first time. Unlocking this complex site is the result of close partnerships – including the London Borough of Newham, the GLA, Homes England, and The Guinness Partnership – and in E.ON we have secured an equally strong partner to support us in delivering on our zero-carbon ambitions,” Ed Mayes, Development Director at Silvertown, said.

The use of E.ON’s ectogrid™ is a first for the UK, but is already being used in sustainable projects across Europe, such as Medicon Village in Lund, southern Sweden and the MIND Milan Innovation District in Italy. When completed, Silvertown will be the largest space heating and cooling network in UK.

ectogrid™ was a winner of the COP28 Energy Transition Changemakers Award for energy efficiency. The Energy Transition Changemakers initiative was brought to life by the COP28 Presidency to foster collaboration and share knowledge on innovative and scalable decarbonization projects around the world.

Working with Newham and the Royal Docks there is the potential for the network to supply other developments in the Royal Docks area, supporting the decarbonisation of heating across the district.

Currently, half of the Europe’s total energy consumption is dedicated to heating and cooling, with nearly 80 percent derived from non-renewable sources, often fossil fuels. With the majority (70 percent) of Europe’s population living in urban areas, growing urbanisation will further escalate the demand for both heating and cooling.


About ectogrid™

ectogrid™ is a heating and cooling solution for city districts and industries that reduces the supplied energy by up to 75%. Inspired by ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals, it adapts to local conditions and makes the most of the energy available in its surroundings.

New energy is added only when all available energy has been shared between buildings or harnessed from available sources nearby. This is done by a system of interconnected heat pumps on a common low temperature grid that uses an intelligent digital platform to optimise efficiency.

Two-In-One – One system for heating and cooling allows energy sharing while avoiding the need for separate networks – future-proofing cities for increased cooling needs.

Circular – The low temperature grid unlocks the potential to integrate low-grade energy waste and to share surplus energy between buildings, reducing the climate footprint.

Decentralised – Rather than relying on large scale generation plants, ectogrid™ uses small- heat pumps and chillers in each building.

Local – In Europe, there is as much waste heat energy as total heat consumption across the continent. This waste heat mostly comes from sources like industries, data centres or supermarkets, with the potential to add natural energy sources locally available such as air, water or ground.

Alongside environmental benefits, the development will inspire improved comfort and health, green job creation, energy security, reduced levels of fuel poverty, better air quality and reduced noise, new economic development and promote a more circular economy.

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