SSE Enterprise Utilities delivers multi-utility solution for new London development

SSE Enterprise Utilities has delivered a low carbon multi-utility solution for a new residential and commercial development on the banks of the Thames. 

Hundreds of properties at the Riverlight development will be served by an energy centre housing a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit, gas fired boilers and ground source heat pumps. These will provide the site with heating, cooling and hot water.  

Installation and ownership of the water, gas and electricity networks on site means that SSE Enterprise Utilities is providing a true multi-utility service. SSE Enterprise Utilities has worked with developer St James for five years and secured a 25 year contract to serve residents and businesses at the Riverlight development. 

Energy efficiency is an important aspect of construction, with new legislation driving changes in building design and energy provision. Developers must demonstrate they can achieve strict carbon emission targets before securing planning permission for new projects.

Riverlight will transform former industrial space close to Battersea Power Station on the south bank of the River Thames into a residential-led mixed use development. The development is comprised of more than 800 homes in six buildings ranging in height from 12 to 20 storeys, underground parking, crèche, restaurants, bars and retail spaces. Around 60 per cent of the scheme will be designated as public open space.

The SSE Enterprise Utilities approach works for large-scale developments such as Riverlight, with a single point of contact during delivery simplifying the process for the developer. Low carbon heat and cooling networks provision is a core part of the SSE Enterprise Utilities proposition and at Riverlight, the company provided design input to the developer’s design team. 

From an end user perspective, customers have complete freedom of choice on electricity and gas supply, enjoy the benefits of a fully regulated water business for their water supply, and will receive heat and cooling services from SSE Enterprise Utilities, one of the UK’s leading district energy suppliers.

CHP is a modern and efficient way of producing energy. While traditional methods result in a high amount of wasted heat energy, CHP channels the waste energy created in the generation of electricity into usable heat. Heat is produced on-site, in a purpose-built energy centre and supplied to homes through a district heating network. The system will reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 25 per cent compared to traditional gas boiler systems.  

At Riverlight, the system also benefits from ground source heat pumps which provide heat and cooling to customers via the district networks from a renewable source. The intelligent design uses the electricity produced by the CHP to power the heat pumps thus maximising the benefits of the energy being generated on site.

Nathan Sanders, Managing Director of SSE Enterprise Utilities, said: “This development requires all of the utilities – heat, cooling, gas, water, and electricity – and it needs them to be joined together as a coherent group. St James wanted a company that would have the design and construction capabilities, as well as the long term operation and ownership model, so they chose SSE Enterprise Utilities.

“The heat and cooling technologies deployed at Riverlight enable carbon to be saved whilst keeping end user tariffs comparable or cheaper than conventional energy supplies. With every new large scale energy centre constructed, this further supports the growing understanding and acceptance of distributed energy and district heating within the UK. 

Eddie Pinchin, Commercial Director for St James, said: “SSE is one of the few companies which has a lot of experience when it comes to energy centres. Working with SSE has been great as they have been very competent, they have the right experience, it’s been a very simple process for us, and we have achieved all of our technical requirements. 

“Our residents also have long term certainty and we are confident that the installation, which is very complicated, is going to be maintained and looked after for our residents over the next 25 years. The model we have developed with SSE Enterprise Utilities provides them with a sense of security going forward.”