Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram visited Wirral Met College during the North West Energy Management summit, to officially open the award winning hybrid energy centre and to provide a key-note speech about the importance of jobs and skills in the low carbon economy.

The Local Energy North West Hub, in partnership with the Merseyside Energy Club, was keen to convene the North West Energy Management summit at the college, to showcase the specialist hybrid energy centre and to provide an update on the national and regional energy agenda to energy sector specialists working in the low carbon construction supply chain across the North West of England.

Principle of Wirral Met College Sue Higginson standing in a corridor with Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram

The innovative low carbon micro-turbine hybrid energy centre at the Twelve Quays Campus was funded with £440,000 from the Local Growth Fund.

Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

Highly efficient gas powered micro turbines now produce 80% of the campus’ electrical demand, minimising the need for electrical power from the grid. The system uses phase-change thermal mass blocks with the turbines’ heat output to provide domestic hot water and heating for the entire campus. Electrical storage batteries further reduce the campus’ energy demand by smoothing the electrical energy curve, reducing peak demand. Carbon output is reduced by 200 tonnes pa and energy costs are predicted to reduce by £80,000 pa.

This is the first time anywhere in the world where this combination of technologies has been employed and Wirral Met College was recently named the winner of the Carbon Champion Award, part of the Liverpool Echo Environment Awards.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram analysing energy data with Wirral Met Students  Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram standing with Wirral Met Students wearing Hi-Vis

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor, said: “We are committed to improving facilities at our local colleges and to reducing the city region’s carbon footprint so we were delighted to support this project, which is showing the rest of the world the impact that combining innovative technologies can have. Not only is it enabling Wirral Met to lead the way environmentally; money saved on energy costs can be reinvested in the student experience.”

Sue Higginson, Principal and CEO of Wirral Met College, said: “It is important that we embrace technologies that will make our environment cleaner, greener and more sustainable. I cannot think of a better place to create a ‘world first’ than Wirral Met College of Further Education and we are now embedding this technology into learning for students. Energy savings have been invested in creating more Pastoral Mentor posts for student support. I am grateful to our Liverpool City Region for investing in our project and for the lead that our Metro Mayor is taking on developing this important agenda. I am also very proud of my team; thanks to their work, the College has been awarded a Liverpool City Region Carbon Champion Award 2019.”


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