More than £11m is to be invested in seven green energy projects, spread across all six of the City Region’s local authorities.
The projects will provide additional low-carbon electrical capacity in areas where electricity demand is expected to grow, providing the infrastructure required to support the Liverpool City Region’s drive to become net zero carbon by 2040, as well as accelerating our green economic recovery, especially as the UK prepares to host the UN’s COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow this November.
The investment will support a variety of projects, providing additional electrical capacity for electric vehicles, regeneration projects and new housing developments.
Funding for the projects comes from OFGEM’s Green Recovery Investment Fund and the projects will be delivered by SP Energy Networks, the distribution network owner for the North West.
Martin Land, from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s energy team, said
“This announcement of green recovery investment is an important step in moving Liverpool City Region forward with our transition to a greener energy system. Our regional development plans and net zero journey go hand in hand.
“We are delighted that OFGEM have confirmed the investment in enhancing electrical infrastructure across the Liverpool City Region, and that working collaboratively with Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) we have been able to secure support for projects in each of our six Local Authority areas.”
The following projects will receive network investment:
- Runcorn Station, Halton (£0.55m): installation of two new substations at Runcorn Station. Halton Council’s flagship Runcorn Station Quarter project is already supported with a £20m investment from the Combined Authority. Making the station area compatible with the increased use of both private and public service electric vehicles (EVs), such as taxis, will help transform it into a modern gateway that welcomes visitors, improves transport connections and encourages development opportunities for new business, leisure and housing.
- Headbolt Lane New Train Station, Knowsley (£0.39m): creating additional network capacity that will enable EV charging points to be incorporated into the Combined Authority’s planned new station at Headbolt Lane in Kirkby.
- Festival Gardens Housing, Liverpool (£3.08m): installation of a double primary substation to facilitate the regeneration of the Liverpool Festival Gardens site, which will create one of Britain’s greenest communities, with 1500 eco-friendly homes. The Combined Authority is investing £27 million in remediation works for the site.
- Bootle Canal Quarter Regeneration, Sefton (£1.76m): the existing energy network will be uprated to support the Combined Authority and Sefton Council’s plans to regenerate Bootle Canalside, creating a low-carbon events and hospitality venue on land adjacent to the Strand.
- Cowley Hill Housing, St Helens (£1.59m): installation of a new primary substation to support capacity for EV charging and electric heating in the new housing development on the former Pilkingtons works at Cowley Hill in St Helens. The project, which received planning permission earlier this year, will see the delivery of up to 1,100 new homes, a hotel and commercial space off College Street, north of the town centre.
- Birkenhead Town Centre, Liverpool City Region (£1.76m): Accelerated uprating of the existing electricity network to facilitate low-carbon development aspirations for Birkenhead Town Centre.
- Birkenhead Heat Network, Wirral (£1.9m): the existing network will be uprated to support plans to create a local low-carbon heat network for the regeneration of Birkenhead. These networks (also known as district heating) supply heat from a central source to consumers, via a network of underground pipes carrying hot water. They can cover a large area and this avoids the need for individual boilers or electric heaters in every building. Heat networks are sometimes described as “central heating for cities”.