Civic quarter network to lower Manchester’s carbon footprint


The Civic Quarter Heat Network will generate low-carbon heat and power for the city, helping Manchester to reach its ambitions to be carbon-neutral, climate resilient and waste-free by 2038

The Civic Quarter Heat Network will initially serve six iconic city centre buildings and has the potential to grow by connecting further buildings across the city centre in the future.

The scheme is projected to save more than 3,100 tonnes of carbon emissions in its first five years of operation and the energy centre will become even more efficient as additional buildings are connected.

The first buildings to be connected to the network will be:

  • Manchester Town Hall
  • Manchester Town Hall Extension
  • Manchester Central Library
  • Manchester Central Convention Centre
  • The Bridgewater Hall
  • Heron House

The energy centre for the network will be constructed close to the Manchester Central Convention Centre.  It has been designed by award-winning architects Tonkin Liu, incorporating five flues into a ‘Tower of Light’, which will become a sculptural landmark for the city and symbolic of Manchester’s aspiration for low-carbon energy.

Containing a 3.3MWe CHP engine and two 12MW gas boilers, the energy centre will generate electricity and harness the recovered heat from this process for distribution via a 2km district heating network, which will supply heat for the buildings.

The scheme has been part-funded by a £2.87m grant from the Government’s Heat Network Investment Project (HNIP), with Manchester City Council being one of the first local authorities to receive this funding.

Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, planning and transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “The Civic Quarter Heat Network will provide a highly efficient source of heat and power for some of Manchester’s most iconic buildings, make significant carbon reductions and contribute towards the city’s shared goal of becoming zero carbon by 2038.

“We hope more buildings throughout the city centre will take up the opportunity to connect to this low-carbon energy source. By doing so, they will help the city reduce emissions even further over the coming years and support us to reach this ambitious target.”

Ashley Mailn, project development director at Vital Energi, said, “We are delighted to be working with Manchester City Council to deliver what will be a major step forward for their energy generation plans. As well as reducing carbon emissions in the city, the scheme has been designed to have positive effects on the city’s air quality.”


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