The combined cycle heat and power unit, which would be the first of its kind in the North East, would deliver hot water to 1,800 homes on the Scotswood redevelopment site in Newcastle.
The application for the energy centre, which is planned on the site of the old abattoir on Whitehouse Road, will be lodged this week.
Alma Wheeler, chair of the Scotswood Village Residents' Association said: ‘The energy centre is a tremendous idea. Environmentally friendly and providing low cost heating for all residents - it is another step forward in encouraging other people to join us here in a new-look Scotswood community. We see it as a very positive initiative and hope it gets permission to go ahead’.
The centre would help create eco-efficient homes, keeping tenants bills down through high levels of insulation and low energy use appliances.
It would also work in reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that would be produced if properties had individual hot water systems by 33%.
Duncan Bowman, Development Director with the New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC) who are making the application said ‘This is another significant milestone in the redevelopment of Scotswood into a vibrant and sustainable new neighbourhood. We know such an energy centre serving a site of this scale would be the first of its kind in the North. It demonstrates the ambition and environmental responsibility being applied to this project’.
Discussions are underway with a potential operator of the centre and it is hoped planning approval will be in place by the autumn to allow a start of work before the end of the year.
The centre would have the capacity to serve more development in the area and whilst it would initially be gas-fired, it could be converted to run on wood chips at a later date and to provide electricity to the development.
Over the next 15 years NTWDC will invest £265m in the 66 hectares of land in Scotswood bordered by Armstrong Road to the North, Whitehouse Road to the South, Atkinson Road to the east and Roberts Street/Muswell Hill to the west.