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The Government’s Energy Minister, Lord Callanan, has made a special visit to see first-hand how two heat networks funded by Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management through the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) will use abandoned mine water to heat homes in the North East.

With a quarter of Britain’s homes and businesses sited on abandoned coalfields, many of which are flooded with warm water, there exists huge potential for the UK to create a lasting legacy from its coal mining past. Indeed the same coal mines that were at the heart of Britain’s carbon-intensive industrial revolution could now be repurposed to address the climate crisis and create a greener future.

These site visits really allow us to get under the hood of our funded projects and showcase the get work going on across the country to help achieve the UK’s net zero targets.

Energy Minister, and Heat Networks Industry Council Ministerial Champion, Lord Callanan of Low Fell said: “Heating our homes and workspaces without causing carbon emissions is going to be key to tackling climate change and heat networks are proving an effective solution as well as opening up huge potential for investors at home and abroad.

These low-carbon technologies are allowing us to build back greener from the pandemic, and as the Heat Networks Industry Council’s Ministerial Champion, I’m excited to see the opportunities they are providing in the North-East. “As a native of this region, I’m well aware of how coal dug from under our feet powered the industrial revolution 200 years ago and it’s fitting that that legacy and heat taken from former mines is now helping drive forward a new Green Industrial Revolution.”

Having shaped much of the towns and cities across the UK, our mining past has left a quarter of UK homes sitting above abandoned coal fields, with flooded shafts containing around 2.2 million GWh of clean, underused heat.

With the potential to offer a zero carbon footprint, mine energy is also a strategically important energy source for heat networks, providing a practical solution to decarbonise heat on the journey to net zero.

Tapping into this breakthrough in the North East is Seaham Garden Village and the Gateshead District Energy Scheme, both of which have been awarded funding through HNIP – a scheme being delivered by Triple Point Heat Networks Management in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Minister was given a tour of two project sites that will see low carbon geothermal heat from the mines distributed through heat networks to 4 council buildings, a school, care home, health centre, and over 2,750 homes.

“These two projects represent the first two mine energy schemes to be awarded HNIP funding and signify genuine levelling up in the North East in preparation for net zero,” says Ken Hunnisett, Director at Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management. “With mine energy ideally suited to district heating, the ability of our coalfields to provide clean, affordable and perpetually renewing heat should be a source of great national pride.”

To find out more about the Minister’s visit, click here.

More information on the two mine water energy projects that have received funding through HNIP can be found here: Some of Our Successful Projects – HNIP (


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