ENGIE signs pioneering 40-year partnership with Newcastle City Council to develop low carbon district energy

18th December 2018

ENGIE, leading energy, services and regeneration specialist has entered into a pioneering Joint Venture with Newcastle City Council (NCC) to develop and operate district energy schemes within the City over a 40-year term.

The scope of services to be provided by ENGIE will include design, build, operation and maintenance of district energy schemes as well as contributions to funding and a project development role in partnership with NCC.  

The initial district energy scheme to be delivered under the Partnership is at the Newcastle Helix urban regeneration scheme – a high-profile, large scale, city-centre development by Newcastle City Council, Newcastle University and Legal & General.

This new £20-million district energy scheme is now under construction by ENGIE on behalf of the partnership. Using a low carbon and cost-effective energy solution, applying natural gas fired CHP (Combined Heat and Power), the energy system will provide, via a network of pipes, all businesses and homes on the landmark 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.

As well as delivering the energy centre, ENGIE will also provide the partnership with a 40-year contract covering the comprehensive provision of maintenance, lifecycle replacement and metering and billing services. Accordingly, all homes and businesses on the development will benefit from a personalised provider based on their doorstep, who is committed to cost-savings and a low carbon footprint

The site, the former Scottish & Newcastle Breweries site, which spans 24 acres, is being regenerated to create a major hub for scientific research and technology which, once complete, will create over 450 homes, half a million square feet of university, laboratory and office space; creating 4,000 new jobs in the region. 

Commenting on the agreement, 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 unrivalled 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.”

Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for employment, Cllr Ged Bell said “This unique venture is an incredibly exciting opportunity that will provide affordable and sustainable heating solutions, advantageous to both local businesses and residents.

“It also supports our ambitions to be a green and sustainable city.  So, it is very fitting that the first one of these schemes is on Newcastle Helix, one of the largest regeneration sites of its kind in the UK that is leading the way in smart and sustainable technologies”.

The energy centre is expected to be operational from August 2019.