- Case Studies
The innovative district energy scheme, which is owned and operated by Gateshead Energy Company, combines generation, distribution, energy storage and demand side management to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. The council passes these financial savings on to homes and organisations in the area, with discounted rates on heat and power.
Heat and electricity is distributed to businesses and residents across Gateshead via a three kilometer network of heat pipes and high-voltage ‘private wire’ electricity cables.
The Gateshead project received the Visionary Award from the Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE), which recognises the project as a successful model that can be used to help boost redevelopment in other towns.
At the launch of the scheme in 2017, it was used to heat and power a Gateshead art gallery and music venue as well as several public buildings and a small local housing scheme. Sufficient capacity has been built into the energy centre to future proof-the district energy project. This includes spare capacity to meet additional heat and power demands from new commercial developments, such as those at Gateshead Quays and the Baltic Business Quarter, as well as major housing developments planned nearby.
The CHP energy centre was initially projected to reduce carbon emissions by 5,000 tonnes per annum. This carbon saving will increase as the scheme expands.
In 2018, Gateshead Energy Company became the first small generator in the UK to be invited into the National Grid’s Balancing Mechanism, which helps ensure there is enough power in the UK supply system to meet short term spikes in demand. It pays a premium to organisations that can provide extra power to the grid rapidly at times of system stress.
Because the Gateshead CHP engines can supply energy to the grid in less than one hour, the Balancing Mechanism helps provide additional income to the local authority.