The Corporate Director Communities presented a report which:
She explained that a report to Cabinet in January 2021 provided an update on the progress made in 2020 and the challenges (particularly financial), faced by the scheme at that time. It was agreed that an Options Appraisal would be undertaken to determine the viability and suitability of alternative delivery methods for delivering a low carbon heat scheme in Caerau that meets the requirements of the approved ERDF funding. The recommendations of the Options Appraisal would then be reported back to Cabinet.
The Corporate Director Communities explained that while this Caerau scheme was fully funded, there were a number of decision gateways set out in table 1 of the report, which allowed the scheme to close should there be not enough progress made.
The Corporate Director Communities highlighted the options that were reviewed in the options appraisal and these were considered against certain criteria. Further details were at 4.2 and 4.3 of the report. She added that the Decarbonisation 2030 programme board undertook a review of these information and determined that option (d) under section 4.2 above should be pursued and presented via a re-profile to WEFO. Option (d) was a ‘blended option’, comprising a set of small-scale low-carbon heat demonstrator projects, each developed to suit a different setting based on variables such as type of customer, housing density and proximity to resources. Further information was at 4.4 of the report,
The Corporate Director Communities added that subject to Cabinet’s approval, the essential next steps in relation to the delivery of the small-scale mine water heat demonstrator are to secure the necessary agreements from the Coal Authority to progress with mine water exploration at the demonstrator site and to put in place all necessary licenses, permissions and consents to do so within the target timeframe of Autumn 2021. Further details were at section 4.7 and 4.8 of the report.
She outlined the financial implications as set out in section 8 of the report and reiterated that the scheme was fully funded up to the commencement of heat and power delivery.
The Cabinet Member Communities welcomed the report and emphasised the importance of this project in achieving the goal of decarbonisation by 2030. He thanked his former Cabinet Member, Councillor Richard Young for the work he placed on the project as well as the Caerau Members for their support and hard work.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
· Approved pursuing the recommended way forward for the Caerau Heat Scheme as outlined in section 4.4 of the Report, being the delivery of a blended solution of a demonstrator mine water scheme, serving Caerau Primary school, a district heat network with an alternative heat source serving homes on the Tudor Estate and a private wire power supply from Llynfi Afan Renewable Energy Park;
· Delegated authority to the Corporate Director Communities, in consultation with the Chief Officer - Legal, HR & Regulatory Services and the Interim Chief Officer, Finance, Performance and Change, to submit the 2021 Scheme re-profile to WEFO based on the recommended way forward outlined in section 4.4 and the financial information in section 8.2; and,
· If the 2021 Scheme re-profile was accepted by WEFO, delegate authority to the Interim Chief Officer, Finance, Performance and Change to sign and accept the revised ERDF grant offer and funding letter from WEFO in consultation with the Corporate Director Communities and the Chief Officer - Legal, HR & Regulatory Services