Pimlico District Heating Undertaking

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The system's thermal store in Churchill Gardens.

The Pimlico District Heating Undertaking (PDHU) is a district heating system in the Pimlico area of London, United Kingdom. The first district heating system built in the United Kingdom,[1] it is owned by Westminster City Council and operated by CityWest Homes. The system is connected to 3,256 homes, 50 business premises and three schools.[1]


The system began operations in 1950, and originally used waste heat from Battersea Power Station,[2] which was pumped under the River Thames through a disused Metropolitan Water Board tunnel.[1] A thermal store was built in Churchill Gardens, which could hold 2,300m³ and remains the largest thermal store in the UK.[2] The system was originally build to serve 1,600 council homes.[3] By 1958 Battersea was operating with a thermal efficiency of 25%, making it one of the world's most efficient power stations at the time.[1]

After Battersea Power Station closed in 1983, a 30MW coal-fired boiler was built to supply the system with heat. The boiler was subsequently converted to gas in 1989.[1] A refurbishment in 2006 saw two 1.55MWe CHP engines and three 8MW gas boilers installed.[2] The system generates around 51GWh of heat and 16GWh of electricity per year.


  1. ^ a b c d e PDHU CityWest Homes
  2. ^ a b c Michael Martin & Patricia Thornley (2013) The potential for thermal storage to reduce the overall carbon emissions from district heating systems Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
  3. ^ District heating: a hot idea whose time has come The Guardian, 18 November 2014

Coordinates: 51°29′09″N 0°08′25″W / 51.485896°N 0.14028758°W / 51.485896; -0.14028758