As reported in itv News, homes and businesses will see cut to their energy bills with the launch of a new powerhouse in Gateshead. The first of its kind and scale in the North East, The District Energy Centre on Quarryfield Road is being launched today, March 2nd. It is owned and operated by Gateshead Council – will soon be generating and supplying low-carbon, low cost energy to thousands in central Gateshead.
How will it work?
Unlike other power stations, it is capable of capturing up to 85% of the waste heat created during the energy generation process and this can then be fed directly to public buildings, businesses and people’s homes via a network of underground heat pipes.
Where will it be?
The new energy centre will underpin the development of the 21-hectare Baltic Business Quarter which is adjacent to the building, as well as the wider Gateshead Quays area and planned major housing developments at the former Freightliner site and the new Exemplar Neighbourhood area between the Felling by-pass and the former Chandless estate.
The first buildings to take advantage of the energy centre include:
- Sage Gateshead
- Gateshead Civic Centre
- Gateshead College
- BALTIC and residential housing in central Gateshead, and all should be receiving heat and power by the summer.
Leader of Gateshead Council, Martin Gannon, said:
“This is an important project which will give our area a real cutting edge.
“Our District Energy Centre is twice as efficient as a conventional power station, and far greener, and we can pass on some of those cost efficiencies to local people and businesses in the form of cheaper heat and power. This alone will make a real difference to people’s lives.
“However, the commercial advantages offered by cheap heat and power will be obvious to incoming businesses and we believe this is likely to drive up demand for business space here in Gateshead, something that should help to generate much-needed new jobs.
“We are also helping to substantially reduce Gateshead’s carbon footprint.
“This project clearly demonstrates what a forward-thinking local authority can deliver, and the kind of resources we can marshal to deliver a complicated and innovative development such as this. I hope it shows that our commitment to local people and to local business remains undiminished by the financial hardships that we are suffering.”
Minister for Industry and Energy, Jesse Norman said:
“This investment in local energy supplies is intended to deliver low carbon energy at competitive prices for local customers. It is a great example of the kind of local initiatives our new Industrial Strategy is looking to support.
“Through our ambitious Industrial Strategy Green Paper, the Government is working hard to promote growth across the North East and the rest of the UK, and to ensure the supply of secure, affordable and low-carbon energy for businesses and households.”
Gateshead Council, which has developed the project and owns both the District Energy Centre and it’s operator the Gateshead Energy Company, has aspirations for the District Energy Centre to be the first of several such centres delivering cheap heat and power to people’s homes throughout the borough.