A new district energy centre has been opened in Newcastle as part of a commitment to tackle climate change in the area by saving more than 30,000 tonnes of carbon over 40 years. The energy centre is being officially launched by ENGIE UK, in partnership with Newcastle City Council.
The official launch event, which took place on Wednesday, January 15, saw the district energy centre – which forms part of a wider £20m low carbon scheme within the City – further boosting Newcastle’s commitment to tackling climate change by saving more than 30,000 tonnes of carbon over 40 years.
The facility on the flagship Newcastle Helix site, will use a 5km network of underground pipes to supply heating and cooling to 10 buildings and up to 450 homes on site.
Using heat and power created through the use of low carbon and cost-effective energy solutions, including natural gas fired CHP (Combined Heat and Power), the centre also generates chilled water and cooling facilities and electricity to neighbouring buildings.
It’s hoped the new centre will be the first of many innovative energy projects resulting from the Regenerate Newcastle Partnership; a joint venture between ENGIE and Newcastle City Council, to develop and operate district energy schemes within the City over a 40-year term.
Nicola Lovett, Chief Executive of ENGIE UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be marking the completion of the new Helix Energy Centre, the first of what we hope will be many innovative low carbon energy projects delivered by our long-term partnership with Newcastle City Council.
“With local authorities playing an increasingly key role in the drive to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions, ENGIE is committed to using its expertise to support Newcastle with its climate goals and on its journey to becoming a zero carbon city by 2030.”
The centre has been made possible with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Government’s Local Growth Deal through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Forbes, said: “Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet so it’s incumbent on all of us to do what we can to reduce our carbon emissions.
“Last year we declared a climate change emergency and since then have set up a Climate Change Convention and are putting in place a range of measures to make the city carbon zero by 2030.
“The opening of the District Energy Centre is a significant boost to our climate change credentials and will provide affordable and sustainable heating to residents and cutting-edge businesses which are bringing high quality jobs to the city,” added Cllr Forbes, who also chairs the council’s Climate Change Committee.
Helix District Energy Centre is the first innovative scheme in a venture to develop District Energy in the Newcastle city boundaries as part of the Regenerate Newcastle Partnership.