The UK Ambassador to Japan, David Warren, was in the region today (March 26th) to officially launch Yanmar’s first commercial combined heat and power (CHP) system to be installed in the UK. The unit will supply efficient low carbon energy to the residential headquarters of Tyneside Cyrenians, the leading Newcastle-based homelessness charity.
Mr Warren was joined by the Japanese Consul-General in Edinburgh, Mr Kenichi Suganuma, and senior representatives from One North East, Yanmar, Tyneside Cyrenians and NaREC (New and Renewable Energy Centre) to unveil the new natural-gas powered CHP system.
Mr Warren said: “I am delighted to be here today to officially mark the beginning of an important and worthwhile project for Tyneside Cyrenians and the significant introduction of Yanmar to the region.”
Mr Suganuma, added: “Yanmar’s innovative products aimed at improving efficient use of energy look set to offer significant opportunities to organisations both here in the north east and throughout the UK.”
This unit is the first production micro-CHP unit of its kind to be installed anywhere in Europe. CHP provides an efficient way of using mains gas to produce electricity and capture heat generated to improve the efficiency of condensing boilers.
Yanmar, the leading Japanese manufacturer of micro-CHP systems, has worked with NaREC since 2007 to develop and adapt their micro CHP series for the European market.
Hiroshi Kanda, Yanmar’s Managing Director, explained: “Today’s unveiling is part of Yanmar’s on-going investment in the North East since starting the joint researches with NaREC and Newcastle University in 2007 to further its research and development activities. We hope that this new CHP unit can be rolled out across the European Union, which is now the home to the world’s largest CHP industry.”
Manufactured and donated by Yanmar, the installation being jointly funded by NaREC (New and Renewable Energy Centre) and two specialist environmental funds managed by the Community Foundation, Local Action on Global Issues and the eaga Community Fund.
The CHP unit is part of a larger scheme to reduce Tyneside Cyrenians’ carbon footprint. The organisation, which this year was awarded UK Charity of the Year, runs twelve large buildings in and around Newcastle as it works to support vulnerable and homeless people in the region.
Stephen Bell, Chief Executive of Tyneside Cyrenians, said: “We are very grateful to Yanmar for donating this unit, to the Community Foundation and NaREC for the funding and to NaREC for their advice and guidance. This installation is a very important stage in Tyneside Cyrenians’ ongoing environmental strategy to improve efficient use of energy and to reduce costs.
“We’ve looked at maximizing the benefits from the installation too; excess heat from the new unit will provide frost protection all year round to our greenhouses which are part of our expanding Organic Horticulture project.”
Keith Melton, NaREC’s Director of Distributed Energy, added: “Having worked alongside Yanmar over the last couple of years, NaREC is delighted to see the first unit installed here in the North East to the benefit of such a good cause at Tyneside Cyrenians.
“CHP provides an efficient low carbon alternative to generating heat and electricity. Through our role in this project thus far, NaREC has developed a unique understanding of this systems performance and requirements, which we will apply to future projects which might result from those organisations seeking carbon reductions and energy cost savings themselves, and as part of our contribution to the wider region’s efforts tackling fuel poverty.”
One North East’s Investment and Aftercare team has worked closely with Yanmar from the beginning of their investment into the North East, providing advice and support, as well as access to an extensive partnership network of support agencies, sector specialists, universities, colleges, local authorities, knowledge networks and business organisations throughout the region.
Dr Simon Goon, One North East’s Head of Business Investment, said: The North East is leading some of the UK’s most exciting developments in alternative energy, boosting the region’s reputation as a centre for excellence in energy technologies. We are delighted that our strong links with Yanmar continue to grow.”