Mott MacDonald to design energy centre for Science Central, UK

Mott MacDonald has been appointed by Newcastle Science City, a partnership between Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University, to design an energy centre and district heating network for the Science Central development in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.

The appointment follows on from the consultancy’s role as lead designer for phase one infrastructure on the project.

Designed to create efficiency savings in line with the development’s sustainability aims, the energy centre, led by Newcastle City Council, will generate heat and power to serve the entire 24-acre Science Central site, with the potential to also provide cooling, all from a central location.

The energy centre will also form part of a key building block for a wider “smart energy” solution on Science Central, which will create a test bed for some of the UK’s leading research in grid connected energy storage.

In a project led by Newcastle University Institute for Sustainability with industry partners Siemens and Northern Powergrid, a grid connected energy storage test bed will connect to the energy centre through an 11kV Smart Grid constructed on the Science Central site.

The test bed will allow the development of new technologies for maximising efficiency, availability and sustainability of energy across the UK power grid, and could pave the way for the future of Smart Grids and low carbon electricity throughout the UK.

Professor Phil Taylor, Director of the Institute for Sustainability said: “The energy centre represents a fantastic opportunity to create a site-wide energy solution for Science Central and will play a vital role in developing the latest research in energy efficiency, helping to inform the move towards a low carbon economy.”

In addition to the energy centre, a district energy network will also be designed to deliver heat from a variety of heat generating solutions, and will address the interfaces between the production, distribution and consumption of heat.

A substantial infrastructure development, the network will offer the flexibility to incorporate next generation technologies or alternative heat sources in its design, in order to meet existing and future customer demand.

Simon Longshaw, Mott MacDonald’s project manager, said: “Mott MacDonald is an industry leader in the field of energy infrastructure development, having been at the forefront of various schemes for the past 50 years. We have experience of delivering a wide range of low-carbon projects, from advising on planning policy to the design and implementation of renewable solutions.”

In addition to designing the energy centre and district energy network, Mott MacDonald will also undertake an assessment of carbon and energy performance for the entire Science Central development. This assessment will deliver a summary report outlining the results of the baseline energy demand and potential opportunities for CO2 reduction and the integration of smart technologies.

The energy centre and network are expected to completed and operational by 2016.

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