Award-winning hybrid energy centre opens in Wirral


A world-first combination of energy technologies has been installed at Wirral Met College to provide electricity, heating and hot water for an entire campus.

The innovative energy centre at the college’s Twelve Quays Campus in Birkenhead features highly-efficient gas-powered micro-turbines, which provide 80 per cent of the campus’ electricity.

The system uses ‘thermal mass blocks’ with the turbines’ heat output to provide domestic hot water and heating for the entire campus. Electricity storage batteries have also been added to reduce the campus’ dependence on the electricity grid still further, by reducing peak demand.

It is the first time anywhere in the world where this combination of technologies has been employed. The system is predicted to reduce energy costs by £80,000 per annum, as well as reducing the college’s carbon footprint.

Reinvesting savings

The centre was funded with £440,000 from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Officially opening the energy centre in June, Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotherham said: “We are committed to improving facilities at our local colleges and to reducing the city region’s carbon footprint so we were delighted to support this project, which is showing the rest of the world the impact that combining innovative technologies can have. 

“Not only is it enabling Wirral Met to lead the way environmentally; money saved on energy costs can be reinvested in the student experience.”

Sue Higginson, principal and chief executive of Wirral Met College, added: “It is important that we embrace technologies that will make our environment cleaner, greener and more sustainable. We are now embedding this technology into learning for students. Energy savings have been invested in creating more pastoral mentor posts for student support."

Wirral Met College was recently named the winner of the Carbon Champion Award at the Liverpool Echo Environment Awards 2019.




Posted under Carbon Reduction, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Technologies and Renewable Energy and Public / Government / Charity on 10 July 2019