Gateshead District Energy Scheme

The council was presented with the Visionary Project Award by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) at its 50th anniversary awards ceremony at the Science Museum in London. The special award ceremony was recognising the most significant schemes of the past decade, as well as looking for those scheme setting the bar for the next decade of energy initiatives.

The Visionary Project award received the most entries out of any category at the event. Sponsored by SAV Systems, the award highlights projects that look forward and dramatically change the vision of the energy industry for the future.

The Gateshead scheme was judged to be a “truly visionary” project. It provides heat through 3km of pipes and electricity through a private wire network to domestic, commercial and public sector customers.

It is one of the most unique projects in the country as it also offers peak power generation to help balance the grid through a mixture of battery storage and combined heat and power with heat storage.

Gateshead Council opened the Gateshead Energy Centre in March 2017 to provide heat and power to the district energy network across Gateshead town centre and the Gateshead Quays area.

The new, low carbon energy centre will generate both heat and power for sale directly to customers via a new 3km underground network of heat pipes and high voltage ‘private-wire’ electricity cables.

Initially, the scheme will supply public buildings – Gateshead Civic Centre, the Sage Gateshead, BALTIC and Gateshead College – and homes managed by the Gateshead Housing Company.

However, the scheme has been designed to meet the energy needs of future developments planned for Gateshead town centre, including commercial developments at Gateshead Quays and Baltic Quarter and major housing developments at the former Freightliner site and the new Exemplar Neighbourhood – an area between the Felling by-pass and the former Chandless estate where up to 1,000 new homes are planned.

The scheme was funded and is owned by Gateshead Council. The scheme is operated by Gateshead Energy Company, a public limited company wholly owned by Gateshead Council.