Vital appointed to design and build Mersey Heat Network Energy Centre

Partners from Peel NRE, Vital Energi, and Ener-Vate, came together to mark the start of the ground works at the land off Great Howard Street.

The new energy centre will be home to one of the UK’s largest two stage water source heat pumps, taking heat from the water in the nearby Leeds/Liverpool Canal where it is fed into the 3MW heat pump and used to heat the surrounding homes and businesses via a 6 km (3km flow/3km return) district heating network, before being released out into Trafalgar Docks.

In addition to the new energy centre, Vital Energi will be extending the district heating system throughout the area.  Phase 1 saw Vital Energi install 2km of highly insulated district heating pipework which included a technically challenging section 5.5m below Liverpool’s Great Howard street.

The new expansion will add 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.

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 Peel’s 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, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and saving 2,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, with planning permission in place to expand the project to supply around 45GWh.

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.”

Andrew Wightman, Pre-Construction, Vital Energi

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.”

“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.”

Jo Longdon, Commercial Director, Ener-Vate

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.”