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Le 10/09/2021

Lille Metropole heating networks and European involvement

Discover Lille Metropole heating network supplied by the waste-to-energy center of Halluin and our involvement in European initiatives on this topic such as Celsius.

As part of its Sustainable energy and climate action plan, Lille Metropole has set ambitious objectives in terms of energy transition, notably through the development of the production of renewable and recovered energies as well as air quality. To this extent, in 2017, the president of the metropolis Damien Castelain launched a large-scale project by creating a 20 km heat transport network between Halluin waste-to-energy centre and the heating networks of Lille, Villeneuve d'Ascq, Mons-en-Barœul and Roubaix.

Our metropolitan waste-to-energy centre produces electricity by burning household waste. The heat produced is then transported trough our heating network and supplies domestic hot water and heat to public facilities such as town halls and swimming pools, as well as housing units. Thanks to this, Lille Metropole has stopped using coal to produce gas and thus provide more sustainable energy to its inhabitants at a very competitive price, especially for the most modest households.

It also allows an improved air quality, which both the metropolis and the city of Lille are particularly sensitive to. They lead a proactive policy aimed at reducing atmospheric pollution, in order to meet health challenges but also to improve the quality of life for the inhabitants of the metropolis, in line with our recent engagement in the Green City Accord. The shutdown of our last coal boiler will have a direct impact on the reduction of atmospheric pollutants and thus and will contribute to better air quality for the inhabitants of the surrounding neighborhoods. Discover some of the pilot projects we conduct in Lille Metropole to improve air quality.

The construction of this 20 km heat “speed network” cost 73 M€ and received EU and national support through ERDF and ADEME (French environment agency).

Exchanges between Lille Metropole and Scandinavian partners have been organized those past couple of years. In May 2019, Lille Metropole hosted a seminar with the Danish Embassy to share best practices on technical challenges such  as low-temperature networks (typically 65°C instead of 90° C or 100 °C), which reduce heat loss or even integrate more geothermal or solar sources. Another topic was centered on heat recovery from data center, Lille Metropole anticipating the expansion of OVH data center in 2025.

Lille Metropole was also part of the CELSIUS European project assembling a network of 72 cities and 68 supporters between 2014 and 2017. 20 organizations from public, private and research institutions helped cities plan, develop and optimize their district heating and cooling networks.

Building on the reputation and the momentum it had created, at the end of the project, Gothenburg created the Celsius initiative in which Lille Metropole is still active. The initiative connects its members and provide continuous knowledge sharing through a monthly newsletter, webinars, participatory workshops and the Celsius toolbox. We presented our new project of “heat highway” during the Celsius summit 2019 and we contribute to regular exchanges with peers.

Supplying heating networks with energy recovered from waste is a local and sustainable energy source.

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