The new modern building, located in the heart of the town on land off Victoria Road West, houses a two-stage 450kw air to water source heat pump solution which takes ambient heat from the air and converts it into low-temperature-hot-water to provide reliable, low carbon heating.
South Tyneside Council has delivered the project in partnership with Vital Energi and Driver Group. The building is named after Hebburn-born Professor Paul Younger, one of the region’s pioneering scientists, who played a key role in the bid to make Newcastle a City of Science and Technology.
The scheme, which secured over £4.8million in funding from the European Regional Development Fund, has been developed in collaboration with the Coal Authority and Durham University.
The air source heat pumps have allowed the council to reduce its reliance on traditional, gas-fired boilers, helped cut carbon emissions by approximately 320 tonnes per year, and significantly contributed to its climate change aspirations of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
District heating network
Alongside the design and build of the energy centre, Vital Energi has also installed a district heating network which distributes heat to the customers, including the residents of Durham Court and Hebburn Central Leisure Centre, with the potential for further connections to be added.
Electricity is generated locally using solar panels; a combined heat and power unit helps power the system.
Scott Lutton, operations director of north and Scotland at Vital Energi, said: “By harnessing renewable technology to decarbonise their heat, South Tyneside Council has been able to significantly lower its carbon emissions and take a significant step towards its net zero goals.
“One of the most exciting aspects of this scheme is that it has been designed with expansion in mind and the network can now grow across further phases, connecting more people and buildings and deliver greater carbon savings.”