Turley has submitted the planning application for the combined heat and power energy centre, complete with its Tower of Light, that will power Manchester’s Civic Quarter Heat Network.
The buildings to be supplied by the £18m scheme are Manchester Central, the Town Hall Extension, Heron House, Manchester Art Gallery, Central Library, Midland Hotel, Bridgewater Hall and One St Peter’s Square. Of these, Manchester Central, the Town Hall Extension, the Midland and the Bridgewater Hall would also have an electrical connection.
The CHP centre will be located under the Metrolink arch at the junction of West Mosley Street and Great Bridgewater Street next to Manchester Central. It have a total thermal capacity of approximately 27MW, fuelled by natural gas. Turley is working on behalf of energy supplier Vital Energi. Manchester City Council is to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary to run the business with Vital Energi.
The project is part-funded by the Government’s £320m Heat Network Investment Project and is intended to provide a number of key buildings with low-carbon, efficient and reliable energy.
An application is lodged for a £2.87m capital grant from the HNIP, which is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, but the project must be committed by 31 March this year. The project is also entitled to a grant from the European Local Energy Assistance grant to help cover external technical, legal and financial services costs.
Engineer Arup has worked with Tonkin Liu on the design of the centre, along with its distinctive tower, which would include dispersion flues “encased within an architectural wrap,” an ultra-lightweight single surface shell-lace structure.
Vital Energi’s design and access statement concludes: “The proposed development will make a significant contribution to realising the Council’s stated aim of achieving ambitious renewable energy targets.
“It is of a scale and form which is considered to be in context with the surrounding industrial uses and has been sensitive to the existing site features and nearby sensitive users which have heavily influenced the building design and proposed layout.”