Paul Younger Energy Centre begins delivering low carbon heat


23 November 2023


Work is now complete on the build of the Paul Younger Centre, Hebburn’s Renewable Energy Centre, which will now provide renewable heat to buildings and residents in the town.

The new modern building, located in the heart of the town on land off Victoria Road West, houses a two stage 450kw air to water source heat pump solution which takes ambient heat from the air and converts it into low-temperature-hot-water to provide reliable, low carbon heating.

The project has been delivered by South Tyneside Council in partnership with Vital Energi and Driver Group.

The air source heat pumps have allowed the council to reduce its reliance on traditional, gas-fired boilers, help to cut carbon emissions by approximately 320 tonnes per year and significantly contributed to the Council’s climate change aspirations of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see the innovative new Paul Younger centre and the wider system complete and operational, and only weeks after the opening of our Viking Energy Network in Jarrow – the first of its kind in the UK.

“In 2019, we declared a climate emergency and set ourselves an ambitious target to become carbon neutral by 2030.

“Our renewable energy centres are just one of the ways we are using modern technology to meet our energy demands in a more sustainable way and creating a cleaner, greener Borough for our residents”.

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Alongside the design and build of the energy centre, Vital Energi has also installed a district heating network that distributes heat to the customers including the residents of Durham Court and Hebburn Central Leisure Centre, with the potential for further connections to be added in the future.

Electricity generated locally using solar panels and a Combined Heat and Power unit is helping to power the system.

Scott Lutton, Operations Director North & Scotland at Vital Energi, commented: “By harnessing renewable technology to decarbonise their heat, South Tyneside Council has been able to significantly lower its carbon emissions and take a significant step towards its net zero goals.

“One of the most exciting aspects of this scheme is that it has been designed with expansion in mind and the network can now grow across further phases, connecting more people and buildings and deliver greater carbon savings”.

The building is named after Hebburn-born Professor Paul Younger, one of the region’s pioneering scientists, who played a key role in the bid to make Newcastle a City of Science and Technology.

The scheme, which secured over £4.8million in funding from the European Regional Development Fund, has been developed in collaboration with the Coal Authority and Durham University.