Energy landmark completed: Progress at £200m development paves way for renewables research

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 22 Dec 2017

A MAJOR landmark of Hull’s £200m Energy Works development has been completed, paving the way for renewable energy research to be conducted in the heart of the city. 

Hull-based Spencer Group has steered the Energy Works scheme from concept to delivery and the company is now playing a key part in construction of the vast green energy facility.

Up to 150 Spencer Group staff and sub-contractors have been delivering the £35m package of civil and structural works for the green energy power plant, the largest current development in the Humber. 

The firm has now completed the Energy Academy, a learning, research and development  facility created in partnership with the University of Hull, on the Cleveland Street site. 

The building incorporates the control room for Energy Works as well as education and research and development facilities and is purpose-designed to offer operational staff, researchers and visitors wide-ranging views of operations on site with viewing windows on both floors. 

Richard Burgess, deputy managing director of Spencer Group, said: “Completion of the Energy Academy is a key milestone for the whole project.

“From the outset the objective was for Energy Works to be more than a power plant and the construction of the Energy Academy demonstrates that ambition is being delivered.

“Energy Works will be at the forefront of waste to energy technology in the UK and pave the way for further innovation in this field. The Energy Academy and the partnership with the University of Hull will play a key part in maximising the research and development opportunities Energy Works offers.”

The partnership with the university will support two full-time PhD students and offer schools, other education institutions and the local community generally the opportunity to learn about renewable energy technologies.

Specifically, the Energy Academy will support research related to the technologies within Energy Works and related  
processes. Energy Works also has a well-established relationship with nearby Stoneferry Primary School where pupils are learning about waste management and recycling and the necessity to save energy.

Spencer Group operations director Andy Beach said: “As a Hull-based company, everyone at Spencer Group is very proud of Energy Works and the benefits it will bring to the city and region.

“We’re also excited that the Energy Academy will play such an important role in providing insight and inspiration to take forward the renewable technologies within Energy Works.

“The Energy Academy is unusual as it is an on-site facility as part of a working plant, rather than based in an educational institution. That means it offers a great opportunity to combine academic research with operational evidence.”

Spencer Group has been working on the project for the past seven years, working closely with principal contractor M+W Group. Spencer has also agreed to oversee operations once the plant is live. 

Energy Works is due to begin generating electricity next year, using an innovative energy recovery process called fluidised bed gasification to produce sufficient energy to power 43,000 homes by processing 240,000 tonnes of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) annually, including Hull’s household waste.

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