Power it up!

The Energy Centre at King's Cross


The Energy Centre, King's Cross

The focus for energy efficiency and sustainability at King’s Cross is the on-site Energy Centre with its Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP). The centre is now up and running with two huge, gas powered Jenbacher engines generating electricity. The heat from the engines is captured and used to provide heating and hot water for the development.

Each building at King’s Cross is connected to the Energy Centre through a hot water distribution network. This is a very energy efficient way to heat the buildings and it means that there will be no need for conventional boilers in the buildings themselves. The district heating network is one of the biggest in the country.

This low carbon heat and power supply, combined with cleverly designed, energy efficient buildings helps to make King’s Cross one of the most sustainable developments in the UK. Not only is this fantastic for the environment, but if you live in an apartment at King’s Cross or own a business here, your energy bills will be cheaper too!

Other renewable technologies like solar panels are also being used here.The aim is to reduce carbon emissions by at least 50% relative to 2005 levels.

The installation of the second of three 2 MW Jenbacher Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engines in The Energy Centre (T1) at Kings CrossCHP – how does it work?

Power plants emit heat during electricity generation. This heat is usually “wasted” and released into the atmosphere. At a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant, this “wasted” heat is captured and put to good use.

At King’s Cross, two huge, gas powered Jenbacher engines generate electricity. The heat from the engines is enough to provide heating and hot water for the entire development. It will be fed to the buildings via a site-wide hot water distribution network. This means that there will be no need for conventional boilers in the buildings themselves. CHP is one of the most efficient ways of reducing carbon emissions from heating.

As well as providing electricity, hot water and heating, the CHP plant also helps to meet the cooling requirements of the office buildings using a process called trigeneration. Here absorption chillers use waste heat to provide the energy needed to drive the cooling system. This is much more energy efficient than traditional cooling methods. The Energy Center at King’s Cross was designed, developed and installed by Vital Energy.

Why are the engines pink?

The first Jenbacher engine to arrive at King’s Cross was nick-named the Pink Panther, painted bright pink in support of breast cancer research. When it was making the journey from Jenbach in Austria, the team trailed the engine by bike in a 750 mile charity cycle ride. The team’s ride saw them cycle on average 85 miles per day through the Alps, Germany and France. The plan was to raise £30,000 for two charities – Breast Cancer Research and Global Generation, a local charity which gives young people opportunities to play a part in creating a sustainable future.

Fast facts

● The CHP system is one of the largest of its kind in the UK.

● 99% of the development's heat demand is met from the Energy Centre.

● 79% of total power demand is offset by CHP engines.

● Conventional electricity supply in the UK is 30% efficient while CHP is 80% efficient.

● Estimated carbon savings of over 45%.

● Circa 5% saving on fuel bills for residents.

● King's Cross will have 6MW of CHP.


To find out more about energy and sustainability at King’s Cross please contact Steven Kellett

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