Engie has announced it has entered into a 40-year joint venture with Newcastle City Council (NCC) to develop and operate district energy schemes within the city.

Services include the design, build, operation and maintenance of district energy schemes as well as contributions to funding and a project development role in partnership with NCC.

The first scheme to be delivered will be the £20 million Newcastle Helix urban regeneration scheme – a high-profile, large-scale, city-centre development by NCC, Newcastle University and Legal and General.

The energy scheme is now under construction by Engie on behalf of the partnership.

It will provide all businesses and homes on the scheme with affordable heat by using low-carbon and cost-effective energy solution, applying natural gas fired combined heat and power.

Engie claims it has calculated that the energy centre will provide a carbon emission saving of 30,650 tonnes over the contract period.

All homes and businesses on the development will “benefit from a personalised provider” who is “committed to cost-savings and a low carbon footprint”.

The former Scottish and Newcastle Breweries site spans 24 acres and is being regenerated to create a major hub for scientific research and technology which, Engie says will create more than 450 homes, half a million square feet of university, laboratory and office space once complete. The move is also expected to create 4,000 new jobs in the region.

In response to the agreement Andrew Hart, managing director of Engie’s urban energy business, said: “The partnership with NCC is a paradigm of innovation and vision, so we are delighted to be on-board to help deliver sustainable energy solutions.

“Our unrivalled expertise in district energy, especially alongside local authorities, coupled with our capabilities in construction, means we have the perfect platform to offer a wide-ranging service, with long-lasting benefits for those within this forward-thinking city.

“This is an example of how the private and public sector can work in partnership to deliver their ambitious district energy investment plans aligned with the government heat strategy.”

Councillor Ged Bell, NCC’s cabinet member for employment, added: “This unique venture is an incredibly exciting opportunity that will provide affordable and sustainable heating solutions, advantageous to both local businesses and residents.

“It also supports our ambitions to be a green and sustainable city.  So, it is very fitting that the first one of these schemes is on Newcastle Helix, one of the largest regeneration sites of its kind in the UK that is leading the way in smart and sustainable technologies.”

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