Journal London Travelling

Olympic Energy Centre

The Energy Centre under construction at the Olympic Park in Stratford was the largest project of its kind I had ever seen, providing low-carbon power, heat and cooling.

2008 | Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford

The quality of these pictures is not good – they were taken with my iPhone 3G, which had a 2MP camera.

Within the space of a week I visited two energy centres; one serving the Eden Project in Cornwall and the other the centre under construction at the Olympic site in east London.

During my time at the London Borough of Southwark I developed some strategic knowledge and insights into the potential role for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) in cities and urban environments with relatively high heat densities. At Southwark we had the largest housing CHP in the country generating 1MW of electricity and using the ‘waste’ heat to provide warmth and hot water to over 1,000 homes on an estate near Camberwell.

At the time I joined Plymouth City Council there was strong interest in developing a CHP scheme close to Devonport dockyard, with electricity generated for the navy dockyard and heating piped to a large tower block and other housing nearby. The trip to the Olympic Energy Centre was a fact-finding mission by staff from Plymouth.

At the Eden Project we learnt something about the shortcomings of biomass boilers, particularly in relation to the quality of the fuel and getting it from the store to the burner.

The Olympic energy centre (Stratford, London) is the biggest I’ve ever seen and in these photographs is at an advanced state of construction. It will be providing virtually all of the heat, power and cooling for the site. Of interest to me was the procurement of the Energy Services Company, which has a 40 year contract to supply energy. Pictured below is the view from the roof of the energy centre.

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