Hebburn’s renewable energy centre opens

A centre providing renewable heat to buildings and residents in Hebburn has opened.

The project has been delivered by South Tyneside Council in partnership with Vital Energi and Driver Group, allowing the council to reduce its reliance on gas-fired boilers by making use of CHP, air source heat pumps and solar PV.

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

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.

Scott Lutton, Operations Director North & Scotland, Vital Energi, said:
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.