Appointment made to explore plans to make city self-sufficient

Ref Code: 134-12

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Issued: 21/06/12

Aspirations to make Stoke-on-Trent an energy self-sufficient city have taken a massive leap forward after experts were appointed to help explore ground-breaking plans.

The city council have appointed technical experts from AECOM to assist in the delivery of some of the authority’s District Heating projects which look at the potential to provide sources of renewable and otherwise wasted energy to heat the city.

And once implemented, the aim is to give Stoke-on-Trent a competitive advantage for potential investors to set-up in the city, lining up with the council’s Mandate for Change by making Stoke-on-Trent the place to bring business.

AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government. They have worked on key projects worldwide including energy work at the Olympic Park in London and for Islington and Coventry councils.

District Heating projects are designed to build and implement heating networks across the city. It’s the city council’s ambition for Stoke-on-Trent to generate all its own future energy requirements to the benefit of its citizens, businesses and employers.

One of the ground-breaking plans involves using warm water from our flooded coal mines underground. This would make Stoke-on-Trent only the second area to achieve such a feat; following the town of Heerlen in the Netherlands who opened the world's first mine-water power station in 2008.

Councillor Andy Platt, cabinet member for city services and green enterprises, said: “It’s great news for the future of the city that this first step has been taken to make Stoke-on-Trent an energy self-sufficient city. Bringing in AECOM to direct us through the teething stages of this mammoth infrastructure project is a massive benefit to the city and we welcome their expertise.

“We said in our Mandate for Change that we want to make Stoke-on-Trent a great working city and the place to bring business and with innovative steps like this we can not only achieve that but become a leader in green energy worldwide.”

“We know that this project will not materialise overnight and it’s going to take careful planning to ensure that residents, businesses and employees of the city feel the effects for many years to come.”

Paul Woods, Technical Director at AECOM, added: “AECOM are pleased and privileged to have been appointed by the council to help deliver district heating across the city. We will bring additional engineering, commercial, procurement and project management skills to bear on a number of challenging projects. Stoke-on-Trent has the potential to be at the forefront of developing low carbon energy supplies that will create jobs and support local industry as well as reducing energy costs for the community.”

The long term aspiration is to generate 550 megawatts of self-sufficient energy.

AECOM will work with the authority for twelve months initially focusing on the City Centre project which aims to use waste heat from the ceramic sector together with geothermal water from disused mines in the area to provide a source of energy for the Central Business District.

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For all media enquiries contact Steven Kennedy in the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232987.