New Greenwich CHP plant to make London Tube 90% more efficient

Date: 9 January 2015

The new combined heat and power plant will channel waste heat into a brand new local heat network to supply hot water and heating for local buildings including schools and homes, and reducing utility bills for local residents.

Six new gas engines will deliver cheaper low-carbon electricity for the Tube network, making it 90% more energy efficient.

Originally a coal-fired power station, it was built in 1910 in order to supply electricity to the London Tram Network. That technology was later replaced by Rolls Royce Avon gas turbine engines in 1972.

To facilitate the plan Greenwich Power Station is being transformed into a combined heat and power plant with new cleaner gas engines.

The new engines will produce 155,000MWh of cheaper, low-carbon electricity – around 13% of the Tube’s annual requirements.

“This Victorian landmark, one of the original ‘Cathedrals of Power’, has a long and vital future supporting London’s essential infrastructure,” said Mayor Johnson. “This important investment in London’s growing low carbon technology sector will not only help power our Tube network, but will also reduce pressure on the National Grid, cut utility bills for local residents, and reduce air pollution from boilers.”

The installation of the new engines is expected to take over 20 years with works commencing to install the first two engines in April which are expected to be operational in 2017.

Greenwich itself is set to benefit from the subsequent district heating network which will use waste heat from the new engines as they provide electricity for the London Underground network. The engines have the potential to heat the equivalent of 20,000 homes.

Source: COSPP