à‚£18m Manchester heat network up for approval

The Manchester Civic Quarter Heat Network, tabled by Manchester Council and Vital Energi, is set to go before the city council’s planning committee this week.

The district heating project, which would feature a 40 metre-high tower is a major part of the council’s plan to reduce its carbon emissions by 41 per cent by 2020.

The heat scheme would comprise a two kilometre network of underground pipes from an energy centre to buildings including Manchester Central, the Central Library, the Midland Hotel, Manchester Art Gallery and the Bridgewater Hall.

It is hoped Manchester Town Hall will be connected to the network at a later date once its refurbishment is finished.

Power would be created at the energy centre next to Manchester Central, which would contain a combined heat and power (CHP) unit generating electricity, and two natural gas-fuelled boilers, which will capture the heat generated.

Manchester Evening News reports that if it is approved, work could start in the spring. The underground pipe network would take around 18 months to finish. The energy centre and tower would be constructed by London-based architects Tonkin Liu, who won a competition to design the buildings.

Manchester council have already received nearly à‚£3m government funding for the scheme and the town hall will put up the rest of the cash. Bosses say the project will eventually become ‘cost-neutral’.

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