The Movement provided the developer U&I with an exciting opportunity to transform the 2.2 acre former Greenwich Industrial Estate site into a vibrant, mixed use community near the heart of London.
We were appointed to develop the design, deliver the energy centre, district heating and supporting network and act as the Energy Services Company (ESCo) for a period of 35 years.
The development saw the creation of 181 new homes (delivered by Wilmott Dixon), 358 student apartments (delivered by McLaren) and a 358 room hotel (delivered by Anglo Holt). Due to the multi-contractor nature of the development it was essential that we build close relationships with the other contractors to ensure a timely and coordinated delivery.
In addition to the residential component, our solution would also serve health and nursery facilities, a gym, retail premises, a community centre and circa 7,000 sq ft of incubator, or business start-up units.
An essential step in delivering an energy solution is to develop a detailed understanding of the energy demand. Our designers took the accommodation schedule which details the number and types of buildings and performed extensive modelling using the energy usage database we have compiled from previous projects. By using 'real-world' data, rather than computer generated estimates we are able to create more detailed energy profiles for a development which enables us to size plant and equipment more accurately. Evolving the Design to Deliver Capital and Operational Expenditure Savings.
Once we had established the peak load we were able to work closely with the client's consultants to evolve the design. One of the largest changes our designers suggested was to reduce the size of the biomass boiler and associated fuel storage. These changes would still achieve planning obligations whilst delivering capital savings for the client. Our designer team also created a modular boiler solution which would bring dual benefits. The design included three four stacks of modular boilers, with each stack being made up of three 250kW modules. This solution still provided the N+1 requirement from the client. The second, significant benefit was that each module of the system had a turn-down ratio of 5-1. This meant the boilers were able to deliver anything from 50kW through to 2.7MW giving the operator much more control and ensuring peak demand could be accurately and efficiently met. As our designers had streamlined the design and reduced
the amount and capacity of equipment it meant that the underground energy centre footprint could be reduced from circa 1,000m2 to just 233m2.
Creating a Long-Term, Viable ESCo Solution Which Provides Affordable, Reliable Energy & Heat
As Vital Energi were acting as the ESCo over a 35-year period, it was essential that we developed a robust, investment-grade business case which demonstrated the long-term financial viability of the project. Vital’s in-house teams managed the design, build and operation and maintenance, which gave confidence in the quality of the energy infrastructure which is essential in being able to offer the long-term ESCo service. Developing the ESCo for The Movement involved planning and delivering a wide range of services which result in a comprehensive energy solution. This involved detailed services across a range of disciplines including: Contract Structuring – We negotiated and created a suite of contractual documentation which included concession agreement, customer supply agreements and customer liaison literature including welcome packs.
Commercial Structuring – Ensuring that the ESCo is financially robust whilst delivering competitively priced
heat is essential, and key part of this is setting heat tariffs and negotiating fuel and electricity supply agreements.
Asset Investment and Life Cycle Fund – Because this project involves a 35-year ESCo it is essential to adopt a long-term approach. This includes making provision for end of asset life replacements. This was a factor in setting the tariffs and allows a sinking fund to be set up and managed to pay for replacement plant and equipment once the existing installation reaches the end of its lifecycle.
ESCo Business Management – We provide ongoing operational, commercial and financial reporting, customer liaison and tariff escalation. We use this information to carefully monitor performance of the assets.
Operation & Maintenance – A core part of the ESCo service is to ensure the energy centre performs as designed. By undertaking regular preventative maintenance we can ensure optimal operational efficiency of the plant, but also supplement this with robust reactive maintenance procedures should any issues occur. This strategy extends to the Heat Network, Metering & Billing systems and in-home Heat Interface Units (HIUs) and is designed to achieve maximum performance and equipment life.
Metering, Billing and Customer Services – We strive to deliver accurate, timely and easy to understand bills for all of our customers. We have built an experienced metering and billing team who provide The Movement with high-quality customer services, metering and billing, credit control, receipt and processing of payments and deal with customer queries.
We offer the full package of energy services therefore we were able to deliver a seamless transition between the design and pre-construction, construction and operation and maintenance phases to serve the residents of businesses of Greenwich.