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Climate Change Minister visits ENER-G CHP project at Solihull Hospital

Ed Davey MP and ENER-G's Heather Foster

Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, saw energy saving in action on a visit to an ENER-G CHP project at Solihull Hospital.

The Minister was joined by Lorely Burt, Liberal Democrat MP for Solihull at the ‘Greening Solihull Event’, hosted by The Sustainable Energy Association (SEA).

In the past 12 months alone, the ENER-G combined heat, power and cooling scheme has achieved CO2 savings of approximately 2,000 tonnes for the hospital. This equates to the environmental benefit of removing 666 cars from the road.  

Heather Foster, Head of Operations for ENER-G Combined Power, guided the visitors around the low carbon energy centre. She demonstrated the CHP technology that creates low carbon electricity, together with steam or hot water for winter heating, and chilled water for use in the air conditioning systems during the warmer summer months.

Solihull Hospital, which is managed by The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, partnered with ENER-G in 2008 to decarbonise the site using  CHP and to refurbish the electricity, heating and cooling infrastructure. 

The hospital previously produced steam in a central boiler house that delivered the means to heat, ventilate and provide domestic hot water throughout the hospital buildings, but the infrastructure was, inefficient, and the distribution pipework was expensive to maintain and prone to leaks. The central boiler house plant was also at the end of its useful life and unreliable.  So the Trust took a bold decision to de-steam the site and cut back on energy costs, while improving interior climate comfort for patients, staff, and visitors.

The VIP visit was coordinated on behalf of SEA by Ecuity Consulting LLP and also  included a visit  to Solihull College. It was, followed by a reception with presentations from GMI, Baxi, Knauf Insulation, ENER-G, Carillion and the Carbon Trust.

Ed Davey said: “Home-grown renewables are powering more and more of our homes and businesses across the country – and Solihull is flying the flag with these initiatives. Together with delivering energy efficient buildings, this drive for cleaner, greener energy will support local jobs and cut people’s bills.”

Heather Foster said: " The Solihull project demonstrates the power of CHP to dramatically improve cost and environmental performance in the NHS. This is one of more than 50 CHP-led integrated energy management projects led by ENER-G across the healthcare sector.

Dave Sowden, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Association said, “Our work, developing and promoting policy for sustainable energy in buildings, regularly takes us outside of Solihull, but Solihull itself has a number of great initiatives, including projects by some of our members, which demonstrate the clear benefits of energy efficiency and renewables in buildings. We were delighted to have the opportunity to share this with the Secretary of State and to discuss important issues around the future of our energy.”