London Docklands set for CHP boost under £1bn Royal Wharf project

The London Docklands area will see low-carbon energy supplied to power 20,000 of the capital's residents through the adoption of combined heat and power (CHP) technology as part of the £1bn Royal Wharf development.

Due to begin operating at the 40-acre Royal Wharf site in August, the new cost-effective 1MWe CHP unit, operated by Veolia, will reduce NOx emissions to 95/nm3 and carbon emissions by 1,800 tonnes each year – equivalent to removing 1,400 cars from the road.

The unit will capture and use heat to ensure that reliable electricity, heating and hot water is delivered locally to a new community in 3,385 modern homes and business.  

Veolia’s UK industrial customers chief operating officer Pat Gilroy said: “As one of the biggest cities in the world, it is important for London to set an example to others by offering its residents sustainable low-carbon energy to power and heat their homes. Royal Wharf has put its stake in the ground to other new developments about what can be achieved and we hope others will follow.”

Smart-city innovation 

The new technology is the latest in a line of low-carbon innovations to improve the sustainability of the Canary Wharf area. Last summer, Canary Wharf Group carried out a major lighting upgrade on its property portfolio, saving more than £400,000 and over 1,951 tons of carbon annually.

In recent months, Canary Wharf Group has seen its landmark project, the Walkie-Talkie skyscraper, awarded a BREEAM Excellent rating, making it one of the most sustainable buildings in central London. The property-management part of the group has also seen its managed portfolio send zero-waste to landfill for the past five years.

Additionally, the developer plays a central role in smart-city innovation through its involvement with the Cognicity Challenge, which sees pioneering ideas piloted on the Canary Wharf estate in the Docklands. That project has already trialled solar-powered benches, micro anaerobic digestion plants and intelligent building management systems, with more green schemes on the horizon.

Green capital

The use of this latest generation of CHP technology will help to further London’s ambition to become a more sustainable city.

In his first week of his tenure as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan unveiled a raft of new green proposals – including a plan to develop the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) earlier than planned in an effort to improve air quality.

Meanwhile, Europe’s biggest ever floating solar array is being installed on the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir, to the south of the River Thames. And just two weeks ago, it was announced that a Chinese automobile company had raised $400m to support the roll-out of a new generation of electric taxis across the capital.

George Ogleby

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