Construction work is underway on Manchester's £20 million Civic Quarter Heat Network (CQHN), after the scheme was officially launched by Manchester City Council's Angeliki Stogia and Vital Energi's Ashley Malin, which saw the first pipe being ceremonially placed in the ground.
Artist's rendering of Tower of Light
The network will generate low-carbon power, heat and hot water for the city, helping Manchester to reach its ambitions to be carbon-neutral, climate resilient and zero waste by 2038. It will initially serve six major council buildings, but has the potential to grow and connect further buildings across the city center in the future.
The scheme is projected to save more than 3,100 tonnes of carbon emissions in its first five years of operation, and the energy center will become more efficient as additional buildings are connected.
The first buildings to be connected to the network will be; Manchester Town Hall; Manchester Town Hall Extension; Manchester Central Library; Manchester Central Convention Center; The Bridgewater Hall and Heron House.
The energy center for the network will be constructed close to the Manchester Central Convention Center. It has been designed by award-winning architects Tonkin Liu, incorporating five flues into a 'Tower of Light', which will become a sculptural landmark for the city and symbolic of Manchester's aspiration for low-carbon energy.
Containing a 3.3MWe CHP engine and two 12MW gas boilers, the energy center will generate electricity, and harness the recovered heat from this process for distribution via a 2km district heating network, which will supply heat and hot water for the buildings.
The scheme has been funded in part by a £2.87 million grant from the government's Heat Network Investment Project (HNIP), and Manchester City Council is one of the first local authorities to receive this funding.
Work on the Civic Quarter Heat Network project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.
Manchester City Council's Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Angeliki Stogia, said, "The Civic Quarter Heat Network will provide a highly efficient source of heat and power for some of Manchester's most iconic buildings, making significant carbon reductions and contributing towards the city's shared goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2038.”
Ashley Mailn, Project Development Director at Vital Energi, added, "We look forward to playing our part in the delivery of low-carbon power, heat and hot water to some of Manchester's most iconic buildings."