Peel’s Liverpool energy centre signed off

The developer is building a facility to provide low carbon heat and hot water to up to 9,000 homes and 4m sq ft of commercial space, on a site between Great Howard Street and Sherwood Street.

Liverpool City Council approved the plans from Peel NRE, the energy arm of Peel L&P, yesterday, paving the way for construction to start on site this summer.

The facility is part of the developer’s Mersey Heat district heat network and is expected to save around 4,200 tonnes of carbon for the city per year, mainly through primary use of water source heat pumps and thermal stores to provide heat across the network.

The plans include two 3MW water source heat pumps that would work on an ‘open loop’ system to take heat from water from the Leeds/Liverpool canal, before pumping it back into the dock system, Peel NRE said.

Meanwhile, two thermal stores capable of holding 260 cubic metres of hot water will be installed alongside gas boilers with a combined capacity of up to 40MW as a backup, and for use during times of peak demand.

The homes and businesses the energy centre is intended to support are mainly those at Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters development, though it will also connect to other developments in the area.

The project is part-funded by the Merseyside Pension Fund, and district heat specialist Vital Energi is installing the Mersey Heat Network on behalf of the developer.

“This facility will use renewable technologies as the main energy source to generate heat for the Mersey Heat network and connect homes and offices to low carbon heat and hot water,” said Jonathan Burley, commercial director at Peel NRE.

“Receiving planning permission for the energy centre will help to meet national and regional climate emergency targets, and we will explore options to decarbonise the network further as and when new technology develops.”

Vital Energi’s managing director for the North and Scotland, Mike Cooke, added: “The Mersey Heat Network is a major part of Liverpool’s developing low-carbon infrastructure.

“The energy centre will be instrumental, not only to the network’s immediate success connecting new developments, but also to its continued expansion. The project has been futureproofed with the capability to connect to existing city centre buildings, so that it can meet Liverpool’s long-term decarbonisation goals.”

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