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Manchester's civic heat network project passes significant milestone

The final sections of the UK city’s 40 metre high Tower of Light have been installed, which will act as a chimney for a low carbon energy centre.

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The final sections are added to Manchester's 40 metre Tower of Light
The final sections are added to Manchester's 40 metre Tower of Light

Manchester’s Civic Quarter Heat Network project has reached a key milestone with the final sections of the 40 metre high Tower of Light installed.

 

Once the project is complete, the Tower of Light will act as the chimney for a low-carbon energy centre, which will generate heat and power for the city, helping Manchester to reach its ambition of becoming zero-carbon by 2038 at the latest.

 

Carbon emissions

 

The scheme is projected to save an initial 1,600 tonnes of carbon emissions per year and Manchester City Council claims that the energy centre will become even more efficient as additional buildings are connected.

 

The tower, designed by award-winning architects Tonkin Liu, is made up of nine sections called “drums”, each one measuring 4 metres wide, 6 metres long and 4 metres high, plus a 1.8 metre crown section.

Work on the Civic Quarter Heat Network project is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2020. It will initially serve seven iconic city centre buildings and has the potential to grow by connecting further buildings across the city centre in the future.

 

The first buildings to be connected to the network will be Manchester Town Hall and Town Hall Extension, Central Library, Manchester Central Convention Centre, the Bridgewater Hall, Heron House and the Manchester Art Gallery.

 

“The Tower of Light is an impressive new landmark for Manchester and a symbol of Manchester’s aim of becoming a zero-carbon city by 2038 at the latest,” councillor Angeliki Stogia, Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, planning and transport.

She added: “On completion, the Civic Quarter Heat Network project will realise significant carbon savings, supporting the council’s current plan to halve its own emissions by 2025 – which will be an important milestone on the road to the city meeting its ambitious goal."

 

The council is working in partnership with Vital Energi to create the network.

“On completion, the Civic Quarter Heat Network project will realise significant carbon savings, supporting the council’s current plan to halve its own emissions by 2025”

Containing a 3.3MWe CHP engine and two 12MW gas boilers, the energy centre will generate electricity and harness the recovered heat from this process for distribution via a 2km district heating network, which will supply heat for the buildings.

The scheme has been part-funded by a £2.87m grant from the Government’s Heat Network Investment Project (HNIP), with Manchester City Council being one of the first local authorities to receive this funding.

“This project is much more intricate than a standard flue due to its complex geometry but will hopefully become an iconic part of Manchester’s skyline,” said Anthony Shawcross, senior construction manager for Vital Energi. “We’re delighted with how smoothly the installation went and we hope the people of Manchester will now enjoy it for many years.”

 

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