Exeter has a well-established and demonstrable commitment to the development of heat networks including a local plan policy (CP13) which requires the connection of new developments. The public sector in the area collaborates in many ways, examples include the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point, the Science Park Company and the Health Research Centre at the hospital.
The formation of Dextco Limited was announced in December 2016. The company’s founder members and shareholders comprise the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E), the University of Exeter, Devon County Council, Exeter City Council and Teignbridge District Council.
Dextco is a pioneering new energy company, designed to deliver more efficient heat and power in Devon, through ground-breaking sustainable energy projects which provide environmentally-friendly energy to homes and businesses across the city and its surrounding area.
Over the coming months Dextco is undertaking the procurement of a private sector partner with whom to form a joint venture to deliver its first project; to develop the Exeter Energy Network. The network comprises an upgraded gas CHP energy centre at the RD&E’s Wonford hospital and a heat network to transport heat generated at the hospital to existing and new commercial consumers across the city.
Dextco aims to increase the likelihood of creating this retrofit heat network (which would otherwise not be delivered by the market) by providing:
- The combined 33GWhth current heat demand of its shareholders
- RD&E’s 16GWhe electrical demand
- Identification of a further 2GWhth of other public sector heat loads
- 6GWhth of private sector commercial heat much of which has planning conditions to connect to a heat network
- Planning and civic influence
- Highways co-ordination
- Support for access to public sector funding streams (e.g. HNIP)
Dextco’s broad objectives include:
- Reducing CO2 emissions
- Providing energy to shareholders at a price less than the counterfactual
- Matching or exceeding current energy resilience at the hospital
- Providing attractively priced heat to other potential heat users
- Providing a risk adjusted return on investment
- Enabling heat networks to expand
- Providing transparency over heat prices
- Encouraging future projects
- Generating local economic benefits