Gateshead Council opened the Gateshead Energy Centre in March 2017 to provide heat and power to the district energy network across Gateshead town centre and the Gateshead Quays area.
The new, low carbon energy centre will generate both heat and power for sale directly to customers via a new 3km underground network of heat pipes and high voltage ‘private-wire’ electricity cables.
Initially, the scheme will supply public buildings – Gateshead Civic Centre, the Sage Gateshead, BALTIC and Gateshead College - and homes managed by the Gateshead Housing Company.
However, the scheme has been designed to meet the energy needs of future developments planned for Gateshead town centre, including commercial developments at Gateshead Quays and Baltic Business Quarter and major housing developments at the former Freightliner site and the new Exemplar Neighbourhood - an area between the Felling by-pass and the former Chandless estate where up to 1,000 new homes are planned.
The scheme was funded and is owned by Gateshead Council. The scheme is operated by Gateshead Energy Company, a publically limited company wholly owned by Gateshead Council.
Construction of the District Energy Scheme
The Council worked with district energy experts WSP-PB Ltd. to design and procure the energy centre and wider network. Construction was by Balfour Beatty Construction and began in June 2015, with Clancy Docwra beginning work on the underground heat and power network in January 2016.
The 4MW of combined heat and power engines are installed and maintained by Edina UK Ltd.
Watch the timelapse video, showing the energy centre through its construction.
The plan below shows the extent of the initial district energy network, which was completed in 2017.
The Council has committed to extending the network, and construction is due to commence of various extensions through 2017:
- 1km extension of private wire network to Park Road / Shearlegs Road depots, including connection to a new 3MW battery storage system
- Connection of Regent Court, comprising 160 homes, to the district heating network.
- 1km extension of both heat and private wire network, trialling new plastic district heating pipe technology, to the Gateshead Leisure Centre area.
The Council continues to work with other commercial customers and new developers in the town centre to see the network expand further in the coming years.
View a plan of the initial and future energy network (894Kb)
More information about how the scheme will work, and the benefits to customers and developers