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Peel NRE has started construction of the Mersey Heat Network Energy Centre at Peel’s  Liverpool Waters.

Led by Peel NRE’s district heat network specialist Ener-Vate, the project is set to become a major part of Liverpool’s low carbon energy infrastructure.

The first phase of the multi million pound Energy Centre will provide low carbon heat and hot water to thousands of homes and businesses around the city reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and saving 2,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year – the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the roads.

The Energy Centre will be home to one of the UK’s largest water source heat pumps, taking heat from the water in the nearby Leeds/Liverpool Canal and using it to heat surrounding homes and businesses via a 6km district heating network.

The district heating network will provide low carbon heat and hot water for up to 6,700 homes and 1.3 million square feet of commercial space at the Liverpool Waters development as well as wider domestic and commercial buildings across Liverpool. This initial phase of the project could supply 20GWh of heat every year with planning permission in place to expand the project to supply around 45GWh (the equivalent of supplying 17,000 new homes with heating and hot water).

Peel NRE has appointed renewable energy company Vital Energi to design and build the Energy Centre. Partners from Peel, Ener-Vate and Vital Energi came together to mark the start of construction at the site off Great Howard Street which it is expected will be complete by September 2024.

Myles Kitcher, Managing Director, Peel NRE said:

 “Emissions from heat are the single biggest contributor to UK carbon emissions, accounting for around a third of the nation’s carbon footprint. Finding alternative low-carbon sources of heat will be vital if we’re to stay on track to achieve net zero by 2050. This ambitious project has the potential to provide enough low carbon heat for over a fifth of the homes in Liverpool, cementing the city at the heart of the region’s decarbonisation journey.”

Jo Longdon, Commercial Director, Ener-Vate said:

 “The Ener-Vate team are thrilled to be a part of such an incredible initiative taken by Peel NRE, we have been part of this exciting project from the very beginning. This heat network will be initially installed in the Liverpool Waters area but it has the ability to be scaled up to provide low carbon heat and hot water to the City of Liverpool and provide many heat users with affordable, low carbon energy. This project will hopefully be pioneering for this strategic waterfront regeneration location and beyond and be an anchor for growth along on the journey to city-wide decarbonisation.”

Chris Capes, Director for Development at Liverpool Waters said:

 “Liverpool Waters strives for excellence in terms of sustainability and climate resilience. Part of our approach involves a focus on building efficiency and the implementation of ambitious site-wide strategies.  This new energy centre, part of the wider Mersey Heat network, will help to bring low-carbon heating and hot water to residents and commercial customers across Liverpool Waters. This is a critical step on our journey to delivering the sustainable regeneration of Liverpool’s northern docklands.”

Andrew Wightman, Pre-Construction Director at Vital Energi said:

“Projects like Liverpool Waters, which fully embrace renewable energy, will be fundamental to Liverpool, and the UK in general, meeting their net zero targets. Peel NRE have established sustainability at the heart of this development, and we are delighted to be delivering the low-carbon infrastructure.  The Energy Centre has been designed to expand alongside the Liverpool Waters development, so will play a pivotal part in the long-term green future of Liverpool’s dockside.”

In addition to the new Energy Centre, Vital Energi will be extending the district heating system throughout the area. 2km of highly insulated district heating pipework has already been installed, with the expansion adding an extra 1.2 km of district heating pipework which will run throughout Trafalgar & Central Docks and bring low-carbon heating and hot water to more residents and businesses.