WSP, the engineering professional services consultancy, has developed the engineering design for a new £7m renewable energy centre for the University of Birmingham at Tyseley Energy Park.
From its base in Birmingham, WSP has provided civil and structural engineering support, together with advising on air quality, transportation and flood risk for the project that recently gained planning approval.
WSP was appointed by Glancy Nicholls Architects which is leading the centre’s overall design. Tyseley Energy Park is located on the site of the Webster & Horsfall Ltd wire factory in Hay Mills.
Named the Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre (BEIC), the new complex will be a base for research and development into waste, energy and mobility technology. When complete, it is estimated that the centre will host 30-part time jobs.
This latest project is part of a phased development programme at Tyseley Energy Park that has already seen £47m invested in to a 10MW waste wood biomass power plant that supplies the site with renewable electricity. Work is also underway at the park to create the UK’s first low and zero carbon refuelling station.
Funding for the BEIC has been provided by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSELP).
James Bodicoat, Associate Director for Structures at WSP, said: “Tyseley Energy Park is a hotbed of innovation. Driven by the University of Birmingham, a network of businesses and support from government, there has already been a number of projects launched at the site to investigate and produce state-of-the-art energy, waste and transport solutions ready for the future.
“The BEIC will allow the University’s research and development to be scaled, providing much-needed space and resources. Contributing to a more sustainable future is a key priority for WSP so it is great to be involved in this project which will pioneer new technology, while delivering jobs and regional economic growth.
Speaking about the BEIC, Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor for the University of Birmingham, said: “The Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre will make the city of Birmingham a leader in addressing key energy challenges, including the decarbonisation of energy, providing a clean transport system for the city and developing sustainable ways of dealing with waste. These are challenges faced by many other cities across the UK and we expect that the breakthroughs achieved by the BEIC here in Birmingham will be applied more widely in this country and also globally.
“We are particularly delighted that the BEIC will be based on the 300-year-old Webster & Horsfall Ltd manufacturing site, a location that was instrumental to the industrial revolution and will now drive forward the energy solutions of tomorrow as a part of the region’s first Energy Innovation Zone.
Earlier in May, WSP and thinktank Bright Blue launched ‘Delivering Net Zero: Building Britain’s Resilient Recovery’, a collaborative manifesto on how the UK can deliver a net zero economy and society by 2050.