ENGIE demolishes four concrete cooling towers at Rugeley site

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The regeneration of the Rugeley B coal fired power station site has achieved a major milestone with the controlled demolition of the four 117m concrete cooling towers that have dominated the local skyline for decades

The regeneration project will be the first time a major UK energy company will lead the repurposing of one of its own sites and demonstrate the potential for sustainable brownfield redevelopment to support the UK’s transition to Net Zero by 2050.

The Rugeley site will now be developed into one of the lowest carbon mixed-use developments of its size in the UK, utilising innovative technologies including onsite renewable energy generation and smart homes incorporating battery and solar PV solutions.

Following three years of community engagement, outline planning permission was granted in April this year to deliver a mixed-use development, including 2,300 new low carbon homes and an “all-through” school.

The wider Rugeley development will also comprise more than 12 acres of employment space, a new neighbourhood centre and a country park alongside the River Trent – providing access to a section of riverside which has been inaccessible for decades.

Building back greener

Colin Macpherson, divisional CEO for ENGIE UK & Ireland, said: “The next ten years are crucial to address the climate crisis – and in the same timescale this regeneration project will become a reference of sustainable living fit for the UK’s net-zero future.

“The local people have been at the heart of every decision, concept and planning application, with our teams determined to deliver something special for the people of Rugeley – that will inject new life, jobs, homes and education into the community.

“We hope this regeneration will become a blueprint for other former carbon intensive industrial centres in the UK to create positive outcomes for their communities compatible with a net-zero future.”

Energy minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, added: “We are committed to building back greener from the pandemic and ENGIE’s low carbon regeneration project is a great initiative demonstrating how industrial sites can be revitalised to provide sustainable living.

“This innovative redevelopment will help breathe new life into the local community, providing new jobs, thousands of low carbon homes and a new school, while supporting our ambitious climate commitments.”

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