Newcastle United installs CHP to score as green energy ‘world champion’

Newcastle United Football Club is improving its score as a green energy ‘world champion’ after installing a combined heat and power (CHP) technology at its St James’ Park Stadium.

In 2012, Newcastle became the world’s first football club to be ‘carbon positive’ by offsetting more carbon than it emits, and was awarded the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard.

By generating its own low carbon supply of power and heat using an ENER-G CHP system, the club is now reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by a further 390 tonnes per year. This equates to the environmental benefit of removing 130 cars from the road, or the carbon that would be offset by 320 acres of forest, which would cover the area of approximately 160 football pitches.

ENER-G got involved with the CHP project via Newcastle United’s energy management consultancy Energy Impact Ltd, who continue to provide an additional management level and monitor the system’s performance 24/7 to maximise the run rate, which is a win, win for all parties.

Due to electrical grid network constraints, ENER-G was required to de-rate the 230kWh CHP engine it had sized to 185kWh capacity in order to achieve a 200kVa  load threshold. There were also spacing constraints within the existing plant room, which is eight storeys within the fabric of the actual stadium. To account for this, ENER-G delivered the CHP system in three sections and rebuilt on site.

The technology has been supplied on a pay-as-you-save basis via ENER-G’s Discount Energy Purchase scheme. With no capital outlay for equipment or installation, and no operational costs for ongoing aftercare of the CHP system, Newcastle United is making both cost and carbon savings.  Under the 12-year agreement, the CHP system is funded via a metered energy charge that is guaranteed to be lower than previous electricity purchase costs, while the plentiful supply of heat is free. 

Newcastle United began its environmental management programme nine years ago with support from specialists Energy Impact Ltd. Since then it has achieved hundreds of thousands of pounds of cost savings and shrunk its carbon footprint to below zero by adopting a raft of efficiency measures.  This includes: boiler optimisation, burner management, lighting upgrades, bore holes for natural pitch irrigation, smart building and energy monitoring and controls, and behavioural changes among the operational staff.

Facilities Manager at Newcastle United, Eddie Rutherford, said: “The less energy we use, the less carbon we emit and the less impact we have on the environment, both locally and globally. Our partnership with Energy Impact Ltd and ENER-G to introduce a high efficiency CHP system is another major step in our mission to achieve outstanding green performance.”

Conrad Phillips, Director of Energy Impact Ltd, said: “Having worked with Newcastle United on its energy efficiency programme for a number of years, the next step was to move to onsite generation via CHP. We continuously monitor the ENER-G CHP system we specified to ensure that it is operating at peak performance and availability, to achieve further carbon and cost savings for the football club. We also carefully manage Newcastle’s energy contracts and have forward purchased the gas, which will power the CHP at a very low rate to again optimise the performance of the project.”

Ian Hopkins, Sales Director for ENER-G, said: “Newcastle United’s move to onsite generation with CHP is the latest success story in the club’s impressive green energy progress. The club is demonstrating that environmental leadership also makes good financial sense by reducing its energy bills at the same time as shrinking its carbon footprint. Best of all, the Club has installed the cogeneration system without any capital cost and is able to enjoy immediate savings, without any upfront expense.”

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A writer working in the field of business energy management, renewable energy and clean technology. Communications specialist working for global energy management services group ENER-G.

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