West Midlands based engineering-construction firm Burns & McDonnell has been selected by Keele University in a competitive process as the Main Technical Advisor for the delivery of its Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND).
A £15 million investment, SEND will be the first of its kind in Europe - a living laboratory where new energy-efficient technologies can be researched, developed and tested in a real-world environment.
Burns & McDonnell will support the University in bringing this project to reality. The demonstrator is being delivered by Siemens, with Burns & McDonnell overseeing the technical design and project execution. This will build on the successful work that the firm has undertaken on similar demonstrator projects.
SEND will provide the opportunity to assess the efficiency of new energy technologies in terms of energy reduction, cost and CO2 emissions. Over the next three and a half years the project will support more than 240 local businesses, while saving 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) – which is funded by Keele University, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme – builds on Keele University’s investment in its energy and other utility networks over many years.
Burns & McDonnell, an engineering-construction firm, opened its first UK office in Birmingham in August with the aim of offering its experience in delivering power and energy, as well as other critical infrastructure projects across the Midlands and the UK.
“We are delighted to have been selected by Keele University to be Technical Adviser on its highly innovative Smart Energy Network Demonstrator," says Jonathan Chapman, Burns & McDonnell’s UK Managing Director. "The opportunity to offer our services and expertise on such a project is an exciting next step in the UK market and a vote of confidence in Burns & McDonnell and what we have to offer."
He added: “We share Keele University’s vision of delivering energy networks that embrace innovation and new technologies in order to deliver a sustainable, clean and efficient energy future. Using our expertise, we will support the University in delivering an innovative future network in order to help the UK realize its potential as a low carbon economy, as set out in the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy. This is also a mark of our commitment to the aims of the Midlands Engine, which are so vital to the future prosperity of the Midlands and of the UK. The important research undertaken at Keele University is one of the reasons why the Midlands is at the forefront of industrial innovation and we hope to play our part in supporting the region and the UK as its partner.”
“The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) is a fantastic example of innovation delivering really tangible results for Keele University, businesses and the wider UK economy, as well as major societal benefits," says Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost of Keele University. "It puts Keele and our campus at the forefront of the new, more sustainable, energy landscape – the technology being deployed represents a revolution in smart energy technology for UK universities. Keele University is part of the Smart Energy Alliance, along with local partner Stoke-on-Trent City Council, and there is real momentum building in the area for developing intelligent, sustainable and low carbon energy networks as a catalyst for economic growth within the city and beyond.”