Waste-Powered Heating is Now a Reality in the European Metropolis of Lille

The 12-year contract represents cumulated revenue of €295 million. It is a major step towards energy transition for the metropolis since the energy generated by the thermal treatment of household waste will supply two urban heating networks in Roubaix and Lille.

Turning household waste into collective heating for populated residential areas

Antares treats up to 350,000 tons a year of household and assimilated waste collected in the metropolitan area. This waste is incinerated at very high temperatures (850 °C) in three oven lines, ensuring complete combustion and generating over 650 GWh of energy annually, enough to heat over 70,000 homes for a year.

Previously, the energy was only used to cover the plant’s own needs and to produce electricity. Now, 40% of the energy produced will directly supply the R-énergie and Résonor urban heating networks of Roubaix and Lille respectively. The energy potential of its household waste represents a source of renewable and recovered energy for the European Metropolis of Lille. In line with the French Energy Transition Law, a virtuous loop will be created locally with the waste generated by the urban community used to heat its collective housing. Users will enjoy green energy at competitive prices, notably because of the tax credits awarded for using renewable sources to supply over 50% of the heating networks’ energy requirements.

“The success of the service we provide for the European Metropolis of Lille demonstrates our capacity to offer municipalities new, efficient solutions that help them develop a local circular economy,” commented Bernard Harambillet, CEO Waste Solutions for Veolia in France. “The combined expertise of Veolia and Idex, which already manages 50 heating networks in France, was key in providing the European Metropolis of Lille with the necessary assurances,” added Thierry Mourot, Managing Director of the North region of France at Idex.

Creating an energy highway

The high-capacity insulated network designed to link Antares up to the heating networks will be one of the longest energy transmission networks ever commissioned in France. Its 19 km-long route was carefully planned to minimize the impact on residents during the works phase and follows either roads or greenways. When it is fully operational, probably by the end of 2020, it will represent a long-term energy supply for both urban heating networks and enable their development.

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