Transport for London head office installs Combined Heat and Power plant

The offices of  Transport for London and London Development Agency are now home to the UK’s largest hydrogen fuel cell.

Deputy Mayor of London Kit Malthouse visited the TfL and LDA offices at Palestra on Blackfriar’s Road and officially unveiled the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant.  The plant cost a reported £2.4 million and is part of the plan for the building to save £400,000 in energy bills and cut carbon emissions. TfL and LDA recently joined the 10:10 Campaign to join the action in London to reduce their carbon footprint.

Kit Malthouse commented about the power plant and the hope for the future of energy usage in London and beyond, “Zero polluting hydrogen fuel has the potential to radically transform the way we power our city to create a more pleasant environment,

“This isn’t a fuel of the future, but available right now. To catalyse its use more widely, we are showcasing the technology, so others will be inspired to follow our lead.”

The power plant and fuel cell are estimated to be able to save £90,000 per year in energy bills and reduce carbon emissions by 40% for the building which houses 2,800 TfL and LDA staff. Also known as the ‘Pod’ the fuel cell and CHP plant are designed in a modern and eye-catching way to attract interest from passers-by.

Another interesting feature of the building at Palestra is the  multimedia display for the CHP plant, which displays live statistics of energy savings, usage and climate change.

The hydrogen fuel cell was funded by the TfL’s £25 million Climate Change fund. It will provide up to a quarter of the buildings electricity, heat and cooling at peak times in the offices, and 100% power off-peak. Any waste heat from power generation in the cell is pumped into a unit on the roof to power the building’s six electric chillers to keep the building cool when needed.

Palestra used to have many wind turbines on the roof but these were removed three years ago, leaving only two behind to help with power supply.

TfL and LDA are hoping that they improvements and technology used at Palestra will help lead the way in London for more sustainable energy production for office buildings. Once other developers see how well the technology works at Palestra, the more they will follow suite and do the same around the city and the rest of the UK.