Further to Minute No. 24, 20 July 2020, the Director of Resources submitted a report providing an update on the progress that has been made on the development of the Leeds Pipes District Heating Network, and which sought the Board’s consideration of the recommendations in the report regarding the next steps to be taken in relation to the Phase 3E extension of the network to the Southbank area of the city.
Responding to a Member’s enquiry on the options available regarding the use of the profit beginning to be generated by the scheme, it was noted that such circumstances would enable the faster repayment of capital, however, other options would be considered, as appropriate, having first met any related obligations.
Also, with regard to the management of any risks associated with the scheme, it was noted that a risk register had been established specifically for this project, with it being noted that a measured approach was being taken towards the scheme as a whole, in order to mitigate risk.
Members also discussed the positive role being played by the Council through this scheme in terms of its contribution towards addressing the Climate Emergency, the development of associated infrastructure and the financial benefits in terms of providing lower cost heating and reducing fuel poverty.
Responding to a specific enquiry regarding the regulatory and competition aspects of the scheme, it was noted that guidance on such matters had been sought at the outset of the project, however, it was undertaken that further detail on this would be provided to the Member in question.
Following consideration of Appendix 1 to the submitted report designated as being exempt from publication under the provisions of Access to Information Procedure Rule 10.4(3), which was considered in private at the conclusion of the public part of the meeting, it was
(a) That the contents of the submitted report, including the detail set out within exempt Appendix 1, be noted;
(b) That the recommendation within the submitted report to no longer proceed with the extension to the Tetley Brewery site and to hand back £2.438m grant to Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP), be approved;
(c) That the ‘authority to spend’ for the construction of works on the Citu site at Low Fold to a value of £450k, which will ensure the opportunity to supply heat into the South Bank in future remains possible, be approved;
(d) That the authority to submit a funding application to the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) for a potential phase 3W extension to the Wellington Street area of the city, be approved, with further details being brought to a future Executive Board meeting to seek authority to sign a grant agreement and to provide the funding required from the Council to the District Heating PipeCo. in the form of a loan in order to satisfy funders’ requirements;
(e) That in line with existing delegations, it be noted that any strategic investment opportunities up to an individual scheme value of £500k will be authorised by the Director of Resources, where a viable business case exists;
(f) That approval be given to the principle of providing capital free connection agreements to customers if there is a viable business case.