NEC selects Centrica for Birmingham energy resilience project


The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) has selected Centrica Business Solutions to reduce energy costs and improve energy resilience at its site in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

The project will see the UK’s leading events venue generate its power needs onsite.

As part of the Energy-as-a-Service contract signed, Centrica will provide heat and power to the NEC site through the design, installation, operation and maintenance of three gas generators, including an 850kWe combined heat and power unit.

British Gas Business will supply the top-up electricity for the site.

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The deal is Centrica’s first of its type in which the company will finance the delivery of the project.

The project will be repaid from the energy savings made over the asset life.

The deal will see the NEC reduce its energy costs and improve energy resilience on-site, as a result of being less reliant on grid power. It will also future proof the site to take advantage of demand-side response activity including operating on the capacity market.

Ian Taylor, acting managing director of conventions and exhibitions, NEC, said: “The partnership with Centrica Business Solutions will deliver significant energy savings to the NEC. Sustainability is still a primary business focus for the NEC Group and this project will significantly enhance our sustainable working and environmental impact.”

Alan Barlow, the director of UK & Ireland, Centrica Business Solutions, adds: “Our research found that over a third of businesses rank energy security and resilience as an organisational risk. We’re aiming to provide peace of mind to our customers helping them with investment in energy solutions, improve their energy security and provide energy costs savings. This also helps our customers transition to a sustainable future without needing to find significant capital.

“The nature of a venue such as the NEC is that its electricity use is incredibly varied, with large shows creating a high demand for power, while the periods between the shows have limited demand. By transitioning to decentralised power the venue is now able to generate additional revenue by selling this additional capacity to the grid.”