In the Utrecht Science Park, Utrecht University uses thermal storage. In thermal storage, warmth and cold released by the buildings is stored in the ground, so it can be used for heating or cooling at a later time.

This animation (Dutch) shows how the thermal storage system works.

Thermal storage

Utrecht University has realised two thermal storage systems. One in the south-east and one in the north-west corner of Utrecht Science Park.

When demand for warmth spikes in winter, the thermal storage system is used to warm up buildings. Once the thermal sources run low on warmth, the heating grid pitches in. The thermal system can be expanded when more buildings get connected to it.


The annual conservation on primary energy use is 770,000 m3 of natural gas. This comes down to 14,500 GJ/year, which results in an energy conservation of approximately 3 % for the entire USP. This reduces the CO2 emission with 1,020 tonnes per year.


The buildings of student housing corporation SSH (Johanna, Cambridgelaan, Bisschoppen and Casa Confetti) are connected to the warmth net of the university. Residual warmth of the energy plant is used for heating and hot tap water in these buildings.