“The energy center project has been in the making for about two years. It uses the heat of waste water that is treated on Císařská ostrov. Every second, three cubic meters of treated wastewater leave the treatment plant, which has a temperature of fifteen degrees even in the coldest months. We get the opportunity to use this water for a third of Prague,” says energy expert Tomáš Voříšek. The city now has the first concrete plan to use the promising resource.
The Energocentrum will be established near the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant in Bubenč, through which one hundred million cubic meters of wastewater will flow annually. Each cubic meter contains more usable energy than, for example, one cubic meter of natural gas.
“We want to place the Energocentrum on city land, three locations are in play,” said Petr Hlaváček (STAN), the current deputy mayor for territorial development. The total output is to be 180 to 220 megawatts.
Operation should start next year, when the energy center will start supplying heat to the municipality and the city library. City districts will then gradually be connected, the first to be fully connected is the new district of Bubny-Zátory. The technical study, prepared on the basis of a public order by the engineering studio PPU spol., proposes a complete infrastructure for supplying the area with heat and cold.
“Now we know the technical possibilities. The device has proven itself in other European capitals, where we went to see them. And if it can heat and cool at the same time, the benefits are the highest,” explains the expert.
The study also includes the division of infrastructure into stages and an estimate of investment costs, which are around 2.3 billion crowns for the entire territory. However, the participation of investors is assumed. The energy center itself will swallow around five billion, which the city wants to get from the European Union.
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The study also checked the possibility of the passage of the backbone pipe to the Hlávkův most collector, which in the future could connect to the energy center and the center of Prague. The City Council has now authorized the Institute of Planning and Development (IPR) to cooperate with the concerned municipal institutions on the development of the technical infrastructure in Bubny, which include PREdistribuce, Pražská vodohospodářská společnost, Pražská vodovody a kanalizace, Kolektory Praha, Pražská teplárenská and Pražská plynárenská.
“Bubny-Zátory is the largest brownfield almost in the center of the city, on which there will continue to be a lively district for up to 25,000 inhabitants. Its center will be the upcoming Vltava Philharmonic,” says IPR director Ondřej Boháč. “That is why it is important to prepare all the technical conditions for proper development. The use of waste water for the production of heat is one of the fundamental projects that resonate even more strongly in today’s socio-political situation. This would create a self-sufficient district in Prague that would be climate neutral,” he adds.
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By 2030, Prague would like to build two energy centers with heat pumps and modify the incinerator at ZEVO (it produces thermal energy by burning waste – editor’s note). These projects should ensure an output of 500 megawatts, the annual supply of heat would be up to eight million gigajoules. “That is eighty percent of the current heat supply by district heating systems. This significantly reduces Prague’s dependence on the Mělník Power Plant,” explains Hlaváček.