French energy giant ENGIE has signed a major deal to develop and operate a series of district energy schemes over 40 years in the UK. ENGIE will design, build, operate and maintain the schemes for Newcastle City Council in the northeast of England.
The initial £20m project under the deal is already being built by ENGIE at the Newcastle Helix urban regeneration scheme – a high-profile, large-scale, city centre development. The site, a former brewery, spans 24 acres and is being regenerated to create a major hub for scientific research and technology which, once complete, will create over 450 homes and 4000 jobs over half a million square feet of university, laboratory and office space.
Utilizing natural gas fired CHP, the energy system will provide, via a network of pipes, all businesses and homes on the scheme with affordable heat. Additionally, chilled water and a private wire electricity network will provide cooling and electricity to the non-residential customers. It has been calculated that over the 40-year contract period, ENGIE’s energy centre will provide a carbon emission saving of 30,650 tonnes. The energy centre is expected to be operational from August next year.
Andrew Hart, managing director for ENGIE’s Urban Energy business, said: “The partnership with Newcastle City Council is a paradigm of innovation and vision, so we are delighted to be on-board to help deliver sustainable energy solutions. Our expertise in district energy, especially alongside local authorities, coupled with our capabilities in construction, means we have the perfect platform to offer a wide-ranging service, with long-lasting benefits for those within this forward-thinking City.
“This is an example of how the private and public sector can work in partnership to deliver their ambitious district energy investment plans aligned with the government heat strategy.”