León's sustainable heat network will supply heating and hot water to more than 28.000 homes and 150 buildings

biomass chip heat network
The wood that will be used as fuel in the plant will be forest chips (basically poplar, pine and oak) of natural origin and controlled traceability.

It will allow users savings of between 30% and 50% of their energy bill, compared to the current high prices. Through a modern renewable energy park in León that the Board will build, through Somacyl, green hydrogen will also be generated for mobility and industrial uses.

The park will be located on a 22-hectare plot to the south of the city of León and will feature a hybridization of the most modern renewable technologies: a generation plant with sustainable biomass, a green hydrogen production plant, a production and generation plant with biogas and photovoltaic solar power plant.

Generation plant with sustainable biomass
The sustainable biomass generation plant building will have an area of ​​about 5.000 m2, divided into three areas: biomass storage, heat generation and auxiliary uses. The biomass boilers will be state-of-the-art, with mobile grate combustion systems, continuous combustion control in three phases and automatic cleaning systems. The maximum thermal power of this plant will be 75 MW. Each boiler will have a double emissions treatment system, made up of a first filtering stage using a multicyclone and a second filtering stage using an electrofilter with yields greater than 99%.

The wood that will be used as fuel in the plant will be forest chips (basically poplar, pine and oak) of natural origin and controlled traceability, meeting the sustainability criteria of the European Union. Likewise, other equipment associated with the generation of thermal energy will be located in this building: pumping systems, valves, meters, expansion system... In addition, the plant will have a sensible heat storage system of 10.000 m3 that will allow the accumulation of thermal energy renewable at night, when the city's demand drops, to provide it during the day when the demand peaks of the buildings occur.

Production and generation plant with biogas
The energy complex will have a biogas production plant from the organic fraction of the city's urban waste supplemented with other agricultural waste. The minimum annual biogas production will be 1.000.000 Nm3, which will be used directly through a modulating biogas boiler that will produce hot water for the district network.

Green hydrogen production plant
The third large facility that the renewable park will have will be a 5 MW green hydrogen production plant, using two electrolysers of 2,5 MW each, which will be installed in two phases. The hydrogen generated will be about 400.000 kg/year, intended for mobility in the city and for use in nearby industry. In addition, in a complementary way, surplus oxygen will be used in the electrolysis process, also for industrial uses, and residual heat from the process will be recovered to generate hot water for the heat network.

photovoltaic solar power plant
The rest of the plot will have a photovoltaic solar energy installation with a power of 7,5 MW for self-consumption of the electricity demand of the complex.

Heat Exchange Substations
An exchange substation will be installed in each connected building, which will be located in the current boiler rooms. Its function is to hydraulically decouple the heat network and the internal circuit of each building, as well as to transfer thermal energy from the external circuit to the buildings. The main components of the substation are: the heat exchanger, the control valve, the energy meter and the secondary impulsion pump.

The facility has been designed for automatic operation of all the elements (power plant, transport network and substations), which will be connected to each other. In addition, an advanced control and telemanagement system will be installed, which will allow generation to be adapted to demand at all times, minimizing electricity consumption and thermal losses.

Thermal power supply capacity
León's sustainable heat network will be able to meet the demand of more than 28.000 homes and 150 tertiary buildings and will mean the shutdown of hundreds of fossil fuel boilers and chimneys in the city. When fully completed, the new infrastructure will have a renewable thermal energy production capacity of 350.000 useful MWh/year. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions achieved with this important environmental project amounts to 86.000 tons of CO2/year.

Project deadlines and budget
• The design engineering and licensing phase will begin in October 2022 and will last 12 months.
• The construction phase of the renewable park will begin in October 2023 and will last 24 months.
• The construction phase of the main structuring branch -which runs between the renewable park and the León hospital- will begin in October 2023 and will last 24 months.
• The construction phase of the secondary branches for the interconnection of buildings will begin in January 2024, with the start of thermal supply to the first buildings in the 2024-2025 heating season, although the buildings will be able to start managing their connection to the heat network as early as 2023.
• The total budget required for the complete development of all parts of the project will be around 70.000.000 euros plus VAT.

Employment creation
The León Sustainable Heat Network also enables the creation of employment in different sectors: for the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure, 30 stable direct jobs will be created in the city of León; for the obtaining and logistics of the biomass necessary for its operation, 90 jobs will be created between direct and indirect in the rural world, and more than 250 people are expected to work in the construction works.



Watch video: