D2Grids, rolling out 5th generation district heating and cooling

Project Summary

Increasing the share of renewable energy by accelerating the roll-out of demand-driven smart grids delivering low temperature heating and cooling to NWE cities

The D2GRIDS project aims to develop 5th generation urban heating and cooling networks (5G DHC) in Europe. They will allow to anticipate the needs or sources of fatal heat, cold or renewable electricity in their vicinity. Similarly, local collective self-consumption logic will be optimized by broadly integrating heating and cooling needs, storage capacities or associated thermal or electrical flexibility.

The objective is to maximize the share of renewable energies in these local energy loops, through an industrialization of the approach, a standardized technological model, and a clarification of the business model to strengthen the interest of these projects for third party investors.

The project involves the implementation of 5 demonstrators in Paris-Saclay (FR), Bochum (GE), Brunssum (NL), Glasgow and Plymouth (UK). D2Grids will also prepare similar developments in Parkstad Limburg, North-East France, Flanders, the Ruhr region, Scotland and the East Midlands (United Kingdom). Dedicated education and training programmes will be set up by Open University, a partner in the project, providing expertise in post-graduate and digital learning.

The project has been extended following the 2nd Interreg NWE capitalisation call. In this context, the project benefits from new funding and a new working group composed of 7 partners of the initial consortium as well as 4 new partners.  The D2Grids consortium will thus be in charge of working on a better integration of electrical uses and local renewable electricity production capacities, in order to improve the decarbonisation of 5GDHC networks.

Know more about D2GRIDS and 5GDHC on the website!

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Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Mijnwater Energy B.V. Spoorplein 45
6411 NZ
h.eijdems@mijnwater.com www.mijnwater.com
Name Contact Name Email Country
Asper Investment Management Ltd Olivier Delpon de Vaux olivier.delpondevaux@asper-im.com United Kingdom
Clyde Gateway Developments Ltd Hugh Moore Hugh.moore@clydegateway.com United Kingdom
Open University Wilfried Ivens Wilfried.ivens@ou.nl Netherlands
ECOTRANSFAIRE Bernard Lahure blahure@ecotransfaire.eu Luxembourg
French Geological Survey Virginie Hamm v.hamm@brgm.fr France
GreenFlex Mathilde Henry mhenry@greenflex.com France
Construction21 France Alice Dupuy alice.dupuy@construction21.fr France
Vito Gert Moermans gert.moermans@vito.be Belgium
FUW GmbH Frank Peper Frank.peper@stadtwerke-bochum.de Germany
Plymouth City Council Jonathan Selman jonathan.selman@plymouth.gov.uk United Kingdom
EPA Paris-Saclay Nicolas Eyraud contact@oin-paris-saclay.fr France
Seqens Lucas Lazzarini lucas.lazzarini@seqens.fr France
LLC & Associés - Avocats Justine Bain-Thouverez justine.bain-thouverez@llc-avocats.com France
Engie Services Nederland NV Sjoerd Parren sjoerd.parren@engie.com Netherlands
Scottish Water Horizons Ruth McNeil ruth.mcneil@scottishwater.co.uk United Kingdom
Nottingham City Council Neil Han neil.han@nottinghamcity.gov.uk United Kingdom

D2Grids releases a quarterly newsletter providing news and expert insight on 5G district heating and cooling. 

Fill in the contact form below to receive it directly into your mailbox!



Newsletter #10: Time to review the first half of the year for the D2Grids project!

Newsletter #9: 2022, a key step to go forward in rolling out 5GDHC!

Newsletter #8: Conference and workshop, feedbacks and achievements in 5GDHC sector

Newsletter #7 - 2nd capitalisation call, COP26 and new partners to welcome ! (jul. 2021)

Newsletter # 6 - 5 principles of 5th generation DHC, news from Nottingham, interview of Dr Franck Peper (feb. 2021)

Newsletter #5 - A new 5GHDC platform, 5 pilot sites, blockchain and district heating and cooling in Europe (nov. 2020)

Newsletter #4 - 5th generation DHC in video, geothermal energy in Bochum, COVID-19 challenges in the district energy sector (aug. 2020)

Newsletter #3 - District heating and cooling webinars, 5GDHC in Brunssum, Interseasonal heat storage (may 2020)

Newsletter #2 - District heating and cooling in Bochum, Green Solutions Awards, a new market survey, and much more ! (feb.2020)

Newsletter #1 - Deploying 5th generation district heating and cooling across North-West EuropeSeptember 2019 (sep.2019)

Find here public outputs of the projects

Report on investment opportunities in District Heating and Cooling - August 2021

Procurement for 5GDHC guidelines - June 2021

Transnational Roll-Out Strategy - April 2020

Market survey on available components - December 2019

Blockchain and smart contract State of the art on the energy market - September 2019

5th generation heat networks: 5 key performance indicators to evaluate the performance of your system

In September 21, partners of the European project D2GRIDS gathered for a three-day sprint session. The objective? Determine a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to quantify the core principles of 5GDHC. These KPIs will help get a better understanding of how current energy networks perform. In this article, you will discover how the 5 principles of 5th generation district heating and cooling can be assessed with concrete indicators.

Read the article!

Look back on the day dedicated to the 5th generation local energy loops during Paris-Saclay Spring!

As a pilot site for the D2Grids project, the EPA Paris-Saclay is home to a 5th generation heating and cooling network that benefits a number of players on the southern Paris area of Paris Saclay. It was on this site, and particularly at the Ecole Polytechnique, that the D2Grids project partners met on May 12. The aim was to offer the public a day around the 5GDHC networks on the occasion of the "Paris-Saclay Spring" event.

(Re)live this day!

Both boreholes for tapping mine water at the Bochum pilot site successfully drilled !

Stadtwerke Bochum, FUW GmbH and Fraunhofer IEF have tapped mine water at the MARK 51°7 site in Bochum with two boreholes. This site is one of the 5 pilot sites of the European D2GRIDS project, which aims to promote 5th generation for District Heating and Cooling grids. After the first borehole with a depth of about 340 metres was successfully drilled in February, the second borehole, which reaches a depth of about 820 metres, has now been completed.

Read the article!

New innovative demonstrator on one of the D2GRIDS pilot sites

As part of the European D2Grids project, which is part of the Interreg North West Europe program, the first advanced thermal demand management demonstrator has been deployed on the EPA Paris-Saclay 5th generation heating and cooling grid, one of the project's five pilot sites.

Read the article

Seqens, the social housing company involved in the energy transition joins the D2Grids adventure!

In response to the 2ND Interreg NWE capitalisation call, Seqens has joined the new consortium of the D2GRIDS project dedicated to better integrate electrical uses and local renewable energy production capacities. The arrival of this new partner allows the D2Grids project to go further, by producing electricity to benefit several consumers locally.

Watch the video!

Look back on the D2Grids conference: "on the road to 5GDHC"

The European D2GRIDS project, which aims to develop 5th GENERATION LOCAL ENERGY GRIDS organised a conference on the occasion of COP26. It took place in Glasgow and was available online. The goal was to showcase the results in developing the concept and pilot site achievements.

Read the article

D2Grids project extension: strengthening synergies between electrical uses, heating & cooling to better decarbonise our territories

The European D2GRIDS project, which aims to develop 5th generation local energy loops, has been extended following the 2nd Interreg NWE capitalisation call. In this context, the project benefits from new funding and a new working group composed of 7 partners of the initial consortium as well as 4 new partners.  The D2Grids consortium will thus be in charge of working on a better integration of electrical uses and local renewable electricity production capacities, in order to improve the decarbonisation of 5GDHC networks.

Read the article

The 5 principles of 5th generation district heating and cooling

In Europe, heating and cooling represent 50% of the total energy consumption for buildings and the industry. 5th generation district heating and cooling (5GDHC), a highly optimised, low-temperature grid, is a promising solution to decarbonise our building stock. The D2Grids project aims at accelerating the roll-out of 5GDHC grids in Europe, through an industrialisation of the system, the creation of solid business plans, and the development of 5 pilot sites.  The D2Grids project team has recently reached an important deliverable, which is the definition of the generic technology model of 5GDHC. To ensure a flexible and resilient energy network to meet current and future needs, a 5th generation heating and cooling system (5GDHC) is established on the following five principles. This article will help you understand the 5 main aspects of a 5GDHC grid.

Read the article



The Bochum pilot will take place at of the former Opel plant in Bochum, called “Mark 51°7”. For the preparation and marketing of the land Bochum Perspektive 2022 GmbH was founded with the aim to locate a broad mixture of businesses and office buildings in the area.

Due to the former mining activities on this site, there is a large mine water reservoir at a depth of several hundred meters, which can be used as an energy storage.


The pilot customer Faiveley is connected to the thermal mine water network via a substation with a local heat pump. This thermal network will be expanded later, with further substations (heating and cooling centre with heat pumps) to follow. The network is set up in such a way that the heating and cooling capacities can be made available to different customers at different temperatures.


The network will be set up in such a way that it will be possible to exchange heat and cold requirements between customers in the future expansion with several substations and connected secondary subnetworks. The net flows are balanced by short-term decentralized storage of the substations and by the heat source and low-grade thermal source of the mine water reservoir. The latter also serves as long-term (seasonal) centralized large-scale storage.


The low-grade thermal source of the mine water reservoir covers a large part of the heating and cooling requirements. Short-term peaks in demand are partially offset by short-term decentralized storage.



In Brunssum, Mijnwater B.V. is building a circular energy system for the residential complexes of the Weller B.V. housing corporation. Thanks to the heating and cooling network of Mijnwater, the connected houses are not only heated without natural gas, but also cooled. The new energy cellars in Brunssum supply three residential districts Tarcisius, Oude Egge, and Pastor Savelbergstraat with a total of 200 homes with sustainable energy. The double energy cellar is fed from a heat and cold storage (CHP), and then also exchanges energy between the various complexes.

Organic Growth

For Mijnwater, the novel and challenging activity is to start developing separate island solutions, that should later become part of two separate clusters of a new Brunssum heating and cooling network.

Thermal storage

Thermal storage will be provided from an aquifer doublet at the Tarcisius site, and one at Noorderkroon. This is enough to enable energy exchange between different points in time, but not quite enough to guarantee all peak demand, and regeneration of the aquifer source. Hence the temporary deployment of air-source heatpump installations.


The island solutions being built are naturally demand-driven, as they must serve the local area. The Thermal Energy Plant at Tarcisius will serve 200 dwellings, in three clusters, in local neighbourhood. The grid connections to the dwellings will separately deliver heating and cooling, using a 4-pipe system for the local area.

Brunssum pilot site in video!

Watch the video



Clyde Gateway is Scotland’s biggest and most ambitious regeneration programme. It is a partnership between Glasgow City Counsil, South Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Enterprise, backed by funding and direct support from the Scottish Government. It is an important regeneration zone of Glasgow and is transforming into an area comprising a mix of uses including residential, commercial, retail, leisure and educational buildings.


A passive heat recovery system will be installed on the Delmarnock Waste Water Treatment Work (WWTW) effluents, enabling this wasted heat source as the main energy balancing source of th 5GDHC network.

The DHN Energy center on the site includes a gas-fired CHP which provides heat to the WWTW. The pilot site scheme assumes the inclusion of a heat recovery arrangement to capture waste heat from the CHP to supply the 5GDHC.


Thermal storage is included and can provide benefits to the 5GDHC network, it will allow the network to better share the energy between the buildings by allowing the ability to store any excess of cold or heat energy within the system.

Paris Saclay


EPA Paris-Saclay, the Land Planning Public Authority for the Paris-Saclay urban area, is in charge of the development of one of a world class technology and innovation cluster. It believes that such an urban development must be in advance with respect to environmental issues, using the most innovative technologies to fulfill its high energetic and environmental objectives, in line with the COP21 global and national objectives. Its energetic strategy reflects this ambition.

Paris Saclay District Heating and Cooling network which is one of the most innovative DHC grids in Europe, is the cornerstone of this energy strategy.


Carrying thermal energy from the Energy Centre to the decentralized plant (“SSTI”), and allowing heat and cold exchanges between building clusters.


Connecting decentralized heat and cold plants to local customers. These heat and cold plants (“SSTI”), located in the basement of major buildings of the urban campus, host the heat pumps supplying simultaneaous heat and cold.


Two 700-meter-deep wells into the Albien aquifer are necessary : One pumping geothermal wate,r the other returning it back to the Albien aquifer after extracting its heat. The Albien aquifer is a eep 30°C-water field located under the Paris region. It dates back to -145 millions year.

Take a look at the case-study!

Read the case-study



Plymouth City Council (PCC) has declared a Climate Emergency and committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, ahead of the national legally binding targets of 2050. The City Council has a Climate Emergency Action Plan and Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan. It is actively working to reduce its own carbon footprint across its portfolio and working with other partners across the city, on a range of areas particularly with heat grids.

Building on the work completed through the preceding HeatNet Interreg NWE project, 5GDHC has great potential for scaling-up and rolling out in the city centre area, both in new developments and existing buildings, with a mix of heating and cooling loads.


The D2Grids pilot is building on the initial work completed through the HeatNet NWE project. It allowed the city to map out heating and cooling loads, identify opportunities for renewable heat sources and develop the concept design of a 5GDHC network. Involvement in HeatNet also resulted in the delivery of infrastructure in Millbay, but also in drilling test wells into the principal aquifer in the underlying limestone within this area.


In one cluster (Civic Centre), as well as serving public buildings, the pilot aims to expand the heat network infrastructure to supply a range of public buildings, including 144 residential units, a commercial area and a theatre with low carbon heat (that can transition to zero).

In another, at Millbay the proposals would supply social residential dwellings (147 units), a hotel, office block and events arena with zero carbon heating & cooling, delivering high levels of comfort at a competitive price.


Renewable energy (alongside waste heat) will be derived from a combination of ground source, marine water and air source using heat pumps (decentralised and centralised).

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