Crawley energy centre to provide cheaper heat and hot water for residents and businesses

Plans for an innovative district heat network in the centre of Crawley have taken a step forward.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 9:30 am

Crawley Borough Council has selected Pinnacle Power as its preferred bidder to manage the network’s operation and maintenance.

Construction of this new energy centre started in autumn 2020 and forms phase one of the DHN project which will supply affordable heat and hot water for connected residents and businesses.

These include residents of John Brackpool Court and Geraint Thomas House, the new town all and commercial offices and when complete the development of a further 182 new homes on the town hall site.

Redevelopment of the town hall site. Pic by Steve Robards

The billing and metering services will start for the first residents moving into Geraint Thomas House this spring. The operation and maintenance services will start on completion of the DHN in February 2022.

The contract is for ten years from when the DHN starts to operate.

Pinnacle Power is highly experienced in the design, build and operation of district energy systems and will bring a wealth of technical knowledge and expertise to the DHN project.

The preferred bidder came top in both quality and price, as well as scoring highly for its environmental approach and commitment to the community.

Gurinder Jhans, cabinet member for environmental services and sustainability at Crawley Borough Council, said: “The DHN is a key part of our efforts to reduce our carbon emissions as well as to provide affordable heat and hot water for residents and businesses alike.

“Pinnacle Power is a market leader in building bespoke energy networks, so we are thrilled to have selected them as our preferred bidder for such an important project. We look forward to working with them to help us achieve the first phase of the DHN, which will save 350 tonnes of carbon as we move towards bringing cheaper, greener energy to the town centre.”

Toby Heysham, managing director of Pinnacle Power, added: “Pinnacle Power is delighted to have been selected as the preferred bidder to operate the Crawley District Heat Network.

“Pinnacle is totally committed to providing low carbon energy networks and to be working on a project like this for a multi-phased town centre District Heat Network.

“ Serving 1,000+ residents over five years, including municipal buildings, is really exciting. The next big step in the decarbonisation agenda is in decarbonising heat, and networks like this will both drive down carbon and also air pollution in town centres. We are excited to be part of it and thank Crawley Borough Council for its work in getting this project to the operational stage,.”

The DHN is being constructed on the existing town hall site. Works started in October 2020 with the construction of staff welfare facilities and site surveys in preparation for the planned building works. Hoarding was then erected around the site which included closing the main footpath from The Boulevard to Kilnmead.

Despite the current lockdown measures in place, the project continues at pace with tasks completed over the last three months including; digging trenches and laying of the main services; and, completion of the new substation base and ground piling works in readiness for the energy centre building structure. Works over the next period will include; the construction and fit out of the DHN control room; and, fitting the DHN pipework to building entry points. Works will also begin on the building foundations in readiness for the structural steel framework to commence, currently scheduled for May 2021.

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