The first investment of D2Grids has been completed in Brunssum! The infrastructure funded by Interreg NWE D2Grids is done connecting dwellings in the areas of Tarcisius, De Egge, and Pastor Savelbergstraat in this former mining city. These locations form a cluster of 200 social housing dwellings, showcasing the possibility for a 5GDHC network to be developed as an “island in the city” without connecting immediately to a larger network or backbone, as Mijnwater B.V. does in the city of Heerlen with local mine reservoirs.
The Brunssum installations show the realization of an innovative, prefabricated energy center, a kind of underground cellar, that contains heat pumps to service the heating and cooling of the connected buildings across all 3 locations. The D2Grids investment also realized the development of an aquifer (WKO in Dutch) at the Tarcisius location that serves as both heat and cold source and storage to serve the connected residences.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the finalizing of the investment was kept on schedule using dedicated team members and having project engineers involved during the construction phase. In addition, the high level of engineering resulting in a high level of prefabrication (for the energy centres), coupled with module-based thinking and 3D-modelling and construction ensured the timely success of the investment delivery. This is important in this business, due to fixed contracts of mandatory delivery as soon as the houses are going to be occupied. Those connections have been established, though extra costs occurred from the innovative aspects and COVID-19 restraints.
The 5GDHC infrastructure has been linked to the moving in of occupants of phase 1 of new-build development in this area, connecting the first 109 dwellings in Brunssum. The 5GDHC system is now operational and will continue running test operations through Q2 of 2021. Two further development phases will continue through 2024, leading to an additional 91 dwellings connected and an extension of the energy plant at the Tarcisius location.