Centrica Business Solutions has partnered with health research centre The Pirbright Institute to deliver on-site technology that will help reduce the building’s net energy use by more than 10% by 2026.
A combined heat and power plant (CHP), which will be able to provide around 75% of the research institute’s future power needs, will be incorporated in the building.
For readers that are unaware, a CHP plant uses natural gas to generate electricity and hot water at the site, with its exhaust gases also used to feed into a heat recovery generator to provide steam. In doing so, it means the technology is “over twice as efficient as conventional power sources and can lower organisational reliance on the grid”, Centrica claimed.
This ultimately can reduce carbon emissions for the building. With having less of a reliance on grid supplied energy and heat, the CHP can reduce strain on the grid. In periods of peak demand, this means that possible fossil fuel-powered generators do not need to be used.
The CHP is not the only technology that is planned to be integrated into the Surrey-based institute, which is dedicated to the study infectious diseases amongst farm animals. A feasibility study will soon be conducted to observe whether the use of solar panels could be expanded on the Pirbright site.
Professor Bryan Charleston, institute director, said: “By the start of 2025/2026, we will have reduced our net energy consumption by 12.5%, saving us nearly £700,000 a year. All our staff have a key part to play in our sustainable future as we aim to drive down energy use further, helping both the environment and our Institute’s financial sustainability.”
Centrica builds upon its £4 billion ‘green-focused strategy’
In September 2023, Centrica unveiled a new investment strategy which would see the company invest £600-800 million a year until 2028 in renewables.
As previously reported by Current±, Centrica stated that it hopes to invest “up to £4 billion over the next five years” in renewables, flexibility and customer decarbonisation measures like smart meters. It also said that it hopes to deliver “around £800 million of sustainable adjusted operating profit on average each year from our Retail and Optimisation activities”.