Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Photos | UK’s biggest heat pump system powers giant greenhouses

15 September 2020
One of the completed greenhouses

Two giant greenhouses constructed in East Anglia will be powered by the UK’s largest ground source heat pump system, according to the project manager.

The greenhouses, one near Norwich and one near Bury St Edmunds, have used more glass than The Shard and each one is 50% bigger than London’s O2.

The 7m-tall glass structures have been built next to Anglian Water sewage works. The closed loop heat pumps will draw in waste heat from the treatment facilities to power the greenhouses.

The groundworks phase of the project

Director at project manager Step Associates Mark Dykes said: “The scheme is using the UK’s largest system of heat pumps, which will channel heat from warm water into the greenhouses to help speed growth. This use of natural energy will cut carbon emissions associated with growing the tomato crop by 75%.”

Installation of the glazing

Clean energy fund Greencoat Capital is backing the scheme and estimates the new facilities will produce vegetables with a quarter of the carbon footprint of regular greenhouses.

The completed greenhouse next to the Anglian Water plant

The new greenhouses will be used to grow 10% of the UK’s homegrown tomato crop, along with peppers and cucumbers.

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