Birmingham City Council

Delivery of new Combined Heat and Power Engine

On Monday 5 March, a new Combined Heat and Power Engine was delivered to the Library of Birmingham, which will provide the new £188.8 million building with highly efficient low carbon energy when it opens in 2013.

The combined heat and power District Energy Scheme for Birmingham supplies hot water for heating, chilled water for air conditioning, and electricity to buildings around the city, including the new library.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) harvests the heat that is normally lost in power production and utilises it to provide heating. CHP is approximately 85% to 90% efficient compared with conventional energy production - power stations (35%) and gas heating boilers (60%).

Like a few of the other large energy users linked to the District Energy Scheme the Library of Birmingham will have its own CHP engine, providing electrical power, hot water and chilled water for the library and the REP. Carbon savings are estimated to be greater than 1,300 tonnes CO2 per annum, compared to conventional alternative energy supplies.

The heat supplies alone are expected to result in 68% less CO2 emissions, compared to heat from a conventional boiler system.

The Library of Birmingham has an important role to play in Birmingham City Council reaching its aim of cutting carbon emissions by 60% before 2026. Other environmentally friendly features of the building will include low energy lighting and water conservation systems. Two garden terraces will introduce new green spaces into the heart of the city and will, together with a 'brown roof' (covered in rubble from construction), provide new habitat for wildlife.

Birmingham's Award Winning District Energy Scheme

Birmingham's award-winning District Energy Scheme comprises three main areas - Broad Street, Aston University and Birmingham Children's Hospital (BCH). Broad Street became operational in 2007, followed by Aston University in 2009 and Birmingham Children's Hospital in 2010.

Less than five years old, the scheme is now one of the largest and fastest growing in the UK.

The scheme and Birmingham District Energy Company is owned and operated by Cofely District Energy (CDE), part of the GDF SUEZ Group, but it is the innovative partnership with Birmingham City Council, Aston University and Birmingham Children's Hospital that has ensured the success and rapid growth of the scheme.

The Birmingham Scheme and its partners have already won some impressive awards, including:-

* The 2011 Property and Facilities Management Expert Services Sector Award

* The 2011 Property and Facilities Management Award for the overall best partnership in the UK

* The International Energy Agency's Certificate of Superior Achievement

The scheme continues to develop and grow with the new Library of Birmingham and the new Birmingham City Council offices on Woodcock Street being the most recent connections.

Simon Woodward, CDE's Chief Executive said:

"We are delighted to be adding the iconicLibrary of Birmingham building to the District Energy Scheme and congratulate our partners Birmingham City Council on the development of this magnificent building and facility. During the last five years, together with our partners - the City Council, Birmingham Children's Hospital and Aston University, we have built one of the largest and best known District Energy schemes in the UK. Over the next five years, working with our partners, we aim to spread the considerable benefits of district energy by extending the City Centre scheme and starting to add more schemes across the City."

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

"I am delighted to welcome yet another major step towards the delivery of our new Library. The cladding outside the building is almost complete, and the installation of the new CHP engine which will power the completed building is another major milestone completed. On time, and under budget, the new Library will be one of the most sustainable buildings of its type, and through our partnership with Carillion we are developing a long term approach through the new Library to really promote Birmingham as a green city."

Councillor Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member responsible for Sustainability of Birmingham City Council, said:

"I am delighted to witness the arrival of another CHP engine in Birmingham. This will be the 4th installation in the city centre and adds to our reputation for leading the acceleration of district heating in the UK. I am extremely pleased to see that this is being installed in our new Library of Birmingham, one of the city's major transformation projects. The CHP engine and its connection to our Broad Street network reflects our commitment to making Birmingham a really green city"