29 Dec 2021
Government awards £6.2m to Mersey Heat to help connect landmark Liverpool buildings and fund low-carbon technology
Peel NRE’s low carbon district heat network Mersey Heat has been awarded more than £6.2m* in Government funding to investigate expanding the network to include Liverpool’s Three Graces buildings and surrounding properties at Pier Head.
The grant totaling £6,266,000 from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was made official today (29 Dec) in partnership with Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management.
It will also help to fund one of two 3MW low-carbon heat pumps, the first of which will be water source heat pump at Peel NRE’s energy centre at Great Howard Street.
This new funding also enables Mersey Heat to undertake further feasibility studies to extend the network to the Pier Head and to be able to offer low carbon heat to the Grade I listed Royal Liver Building, the Grade II listed Cunard and Port of Liverpool buildings in partnership with the buildings’ owners.
The Grade II listed George’s Dock Building and the Museum of Liverpool which opened in 2011 will also be included in the designs for the heat network extension.
More than 2.5km of pipework for the 4.1km network has already been installed and when complete, Mersey Heat will provide low carbon heat and hot water to up to 9,000 homes and 4 million sq ft of commercial space at Peel L&P’s £5bn Liverpool Waters development and nearby buildings.
Apartments at the newly converted Tobacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock are already receiving heat from the network soon to be followed by The Titanic Hotel and Southern Warehouse and Liverpool Waters’ Princes Parade.
Construction work for Peel NRE’s energy centre to serve Mersey Heat is expected to start on site early 2022, housing low-carbon technology to save around 4,200 tonnes of carbon per year.
This will be achieved through the primary use of water source heat pumps and thermal stores capable of holding 260 cubic metres of hot water. Heat only gas boilers with up to a combined capacity of 40MW will act as a back up and for use during times of peak demand.
Marking another step forward in the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, the funding for Mersey Heat will come from the £320m Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) fund.
Minister for Climate Change Lord Callanan said: “Changing the way we heat our homes and workspaces is key to tackling pollution and today’s investment into new heat networks across Worthing, London, Bristol and Liverpool will ensure these areas are placed at the heart of the UK’s green industrial revolution.
“The new networks of air source heat pumps will deliver affordable, low-carbon heat and energy across the nation’s homes, universities residences, and business units, while opening up huge job and investment opportunities, making our thriving cities and seaside towns greener places to live, work, and visit.”
Jonathan Burley, Commercial Director at Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P, said: “Mersey Heat supports national and local targets to achieve net zero and we’re pleased to receive further funding to help roll-out the network on a larger scale.
“The addition of large historical buildings like the Three Graces would make a high-profile impact on reducing Liverpool’s carbon footprint and we look forward to working with the buildings’ owners and our district heat network specialists Ener-Vate to progress these designs and hopefully connect some of Liverpool’s most prestigious properties to our low carbon network.”
In September, Peel NRE confirmed plans to develop the next phase of the Mersey Heat network to link the existing infrastructure at Princes Parade at Liverpool Waters to Stanley Dock and the new energy centre.
Ken Hunnisett, Project Director, Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, said: “We were delighted to offer funding to Peel NRE at the beginning of the HNIP journey and it’s a real pleasure to have been able to support its expansion some two years later.
“One of the benefits of heat networks is that they are able to extend and further decarbonise over time, and Mersey Heat is testament to that. It’s been a joy to work with Mersey Heat, Peel, Enervate and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provide some of the funding to accelerate the team’s plans to decarbonise the area’s buildings - old and new - using heat pumps to draw renewable energy from the City’s iconic waterways.”
Vital Energi is constructing the Mersey Heat on Peel NRE’s behalf.
Mike Cooke, Vital Energi’s Managing Director for North & Scotland added: “Both Liverpool City Council and Peel NRE have a firm commitment to achieving net zero and the announcement of this funding is important as it will enable them to take large strides to achieving this. By collaborating with Vital Energi to embrace water source heat pumps, which are a renewable technology, and expanding the network to bring low-carbon heat and hot water to more customers, we can drastically reduce emissions and create a truly sustainable development which contributes to a cleaner, greener Liverpool.”
More information about Peel NRE’s work on district heat networks here.