South West’s first energy centre officially unveiled

""South West’s first energy centre officially unveiled New video footage has been released today marking the end of construction of E.ON’s £3 million energy centre serving Exeter’s new Skypark and Cranbrook developments.

The 30,000 sq ft building, the first of its kind in the South West, is being developed jointly with regeneration specialist St. Modwen at the £210 million Skypark* development to the north of Exeter Airport. Around 40 jobs were created during the construction process.

The footage is made up of hundreds of individual photographs taken throughout the construction phase, from early ground clearance work in January this year to final completion of the building itself, and marks a significant milestone in the project which is one of the key developments forming part of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point**.

Set to be producing heat by spring next year, the E.ON facility will serve as the energy hub for a ground-breaking district heating network that will provide a sustainable and cost-effective source of energy to businesses at Skypark and homes at the neighbouring community of Cranbrook.

Ultimately the energy centre will house efficient combined heat and power engines which will provide heat and hot water 24 hours a day to both developments, with surplus electricity generated being fed back into the national grid. The energy centre will be fuelled at first by natural gas but will develop over time to run on waste wood biomass.

At Skypark, the system will supply heat to manufacturing, industrial and office units at the 1.4 million sq ft sustainable business park. Once fully operational, the district heating system serving all future Skypark occupiers is expected to reduce carbon emissions generated through all heating provision by over 80% compared to traditional gas heating.

At Cranbrook, approximately 2,900 homes will be fuelled through the first phase of residential development. The system could provide an estimated 13,000 tonnes of CO2 savings per year, the equivalent of removing 5,200 cars from the road. It will potentially make Cranbrook one of the largest low carbon communities in the UK to deliver Combined Heat and Power (CHP) to all residents.

To mark the completion of works, project partners watched Ian Guy of St. Modwen, Jeremy Bungey of E.ON and Cllr Andrew Moulding plant a tree to represent the wood that will ultimately be used to power the energy centre.

Ian Guy, Senior Development Manager for St. Modwen in the South West, the company working with Devon County Council as the joint venture partner and developer of the £210 million Skypark scheme, said: “Developing this facility with E.ON is a positive step forward for Skypark as a sustainable business park, with an innovative heating scheme now set to provide significant energy efficiency savings for future occupiers and reduce overall carbon emissions.

“A total of 40 jobs have already been created through this programme of works and many more are coming forward through the development at Skypark. Within the proposed buildings we expect to create up to 6,500 jobs over the next 20 years.

“With the first new main entrance due for completion in October, Skypark is now firmly open for business. We expect the location of the development near Exeter Airport and within close proximity of the M5 combined with the high quality Business Park environment will prove attractive to occupiers.”

Jeremy Bungey, Head of Community Energy at E.ON, said: “The Cranbrook and Skypark developments have sustainable energy built in to their very foundations and I’m delighted that our energy centre is now at the heart of the community, providing a future-proof source of low carbon energy across homes and businesses.

“The beauty of this technology is that we can easily change our energy sources to take advantage of lower cost or lower carbon fuels to give the best option to customers. Not only will it provide local homes and businesses with a sustainable source of heating and hot water but it makes Exeter one of the leaders in decentralised energy."

The Energy Centre is the hub of a 75km district heating network serving both the Skypark and Cranbrook developments which have received funding from Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) Low Carbon Infrastructure Fund and local authority partners totalling £4.1 million.

Councillor Will Mumford, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Enterprise and Employment and Chair of the Exeter and Heart of Devon Growth Board, said: “The completion of the Energy Centre in such a short period of time marks another milestone on the phenomenal trajectory of the Growth Point project. The plans for such a massive district heating system, which seemed quite radical only last year, are now being realised and the houses already occupied at Cranbrook are benefiting from this vision. Having seen the benefits, we are now exploring further opportunities in the Exeter area. However, having a vision is one thing but bringing it into being is quite another matter and the team have done a simply phenomenal job in pulling this off.”

Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council, said: “What an amazing year this has been so far for East Devon, not only is our vision of the new community and Skypark business park becoming a reality but so too are our aspirations to deliver them in the most sustainable way possible. I am incredibly proud to be the Leader of a council which has taken on the carbon reduction challenge and to be in partnership with people who can really deliver”.

Exeter City Council Leader, Councillor Pete Edwards, said: "This is trail blazing development that points the way to an exciting low carbon future for the city; there are many challenges ahead but this shows what can be accomplished.”

For further information on Skypark, visit www.skyparkexeter.com or www.eon-uk.com to find out more about the Energy Centre.

*St. Modwen is working with Devon County Council as the joint venture partner and developer of the £210 million Skypark scheme. 

**Exeter and East Devon Growth Point – The Exeter and East Devon Growth Point is a long term partnership for growth between the public sector (including East Devon District, Exeter City and Devon County Councils) and private sectors which was established in 2007. The vision is to build sustainable communities in Exeter and East Devon with the aim of providing skilled employment opportunities for residents close to where they will be living. In total the growth programme is expected to deliver around 20,000 new homes and over 25,000 jobs across the Growth Point area over the next 15 to 20 years and is worth well over £1bn.

Notes to editors

E.ON

E.ON is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies - generating electricity, retailing power and gas, developing gas storage and undertaking gas and oil exploration and production. It is part of the E.ON group, one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies. E.ON employs around 12,000 people in the UK and more than 79,000 worldwide;

In the UK, E.ON supplies power and gas to around five million domestic, small and medium-sized enterprise and industrial customers - meaning the company has to buy approximately 122.7 billion kWh of power and gas each year to meet their needs. E.ON also offers innovative energy services and technologies tailored to meet its customers' needs, and is helping customers become energy fit by encouraging them to insulate their homes, moderate their energy usage and even generate their own power;

E.ON's Reset Review continues to identify and discuss changes with customers through its 28,000-strong YourSay panel, its independent Customer Council comprising business leader Allan Leighton, ex-MP and Select Committee chair Paddy Tipping and E.ON Customer Service Advisor Joanne Sheridan, its 1,000-strong MySay employee panel and through discussions with consumer advocacy groups such as Which? and Consumer Focus. Changes made to date include: Helping customers control their bills: Fair prices, simple products, transparent profits, A fairer way of paying: Providing stability to help households budget, Improving customer service: Consistency, easier contact, the confidence to complain.

St. Modwen Properties PLC

St. Modwen is the UK’s leading regeneration specialist. The company operates across the full spectrum of the property industry from a Birmingham based head office, a network of seven regional offices, a residential division and through joint ventures with industry leading partners.

The Company is focussed wholly upon regeneration with an outstanding 25 year track record of adding value by managing schemes through the planning process, remediating contaminated land and active asset management and development.

With extensive experience in dealing with complex and challenging sites, St. Modwen has a land bank of more than 5,700 net developable acres and is focused on the long-term development of commercial property and residential land.

St. Modwen’s extensive national portfolio includes; the £2bn regeneration of New Covent Garden Market, London; the redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, London; the £1bn transformation of Longbridge, Birmingham and the on-going regeneration of over 2,500 acres of former industrial land in South Wales.

St. Modwen South West

St. Modwen’s South West/ South Wales operations are run from an office in Avonmouth, Bristol. Here the regional team works across the company’s vast regeneration project portfolio that comprises a total of 15 million sq ft of commercial accommodation and circa 11,000 homes across both regions.

In the South West, St. Modwen’s property portfolio comprises 14 development regeneration projects based across Gloucestershire, Somerset, Avon and Devon. Collectively, St. Modwen manages circa 910 acres (circa 580 acres net developable land) across the region on which it will build over 8 million sq ft of commercial accommodation and create circa 2,940 homes.

The company’s major projects in the South West region include the £270 million regeneration of Firepool, Taunton; the £400 million Locking Parklands development, Weston-super-Mare; the £210 million Skypark development, Exeter; the £150 million Littlecombe development, Dursley and the £150 million Access 18 scheme in Avonmouth.


For further information, please contact:

Catrin Millar / Katie Brandon at Equinox Communications on 02920 764 100 or stmodwen@equinoxcommunications.co.uk

Charlotte McCarthy / Menna-Rees Steer at St. Modwen Properties PLC on 0121 222 9400 or corpcomms@stmodwen.co.uk

Andrew Barrow at E.ON on 024 7618 3677 or andrew.barrow@eon-uk.com

For Exeter and East Devon Growth Point enquiries contact either Drew Aspinwall daspinwall@eastdevon.gov.uk or Lesley Crocker lcrocker@eastdevon.gov.uk