Green en­ergy park could cut pol­lu­tion

Birmingham Post - - COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

MORE than £6 mil­lion is be­ing in­vested into a green en­ergy park in Birm­ing­ham which is aim­ing to cut air pol­lu­tion and im­prove the en­vi­ron­ment in the city.

A new £3.89 mil­lion ac­cess road and re­fu­elling sta­tion are be­ing built on Ty­se­ley En­ergy Park in south-east Birm­ing­ham while a fur­ther £2.5 mil­lion is be­ing spent on an in­no­va­tion hub.

Ty­se­ley En­ergy Park covers 16 acres and is owned by wire com­pany Web­ster & Hors­fall, one of the old­est man­u­fac­tur­ers in Birm­ing­ham.

Work has started on build­ing the road which will pro­vide ac­cess to what is claimed to be the UK’s first low and zero-emis­sion re­fu­elling sta­tion.

It will be ca­pa­ble of re­fu­elling up to 500 ve­hi­cles per day with hy­dro­gen, com­pressed nat­u­ral gas and biodiesel fu­els as well as of­fer­ing rapid elec­tric charg­ers.

The new road and a cross­ing over the River Cole will en­able HGVs, buses, taxis and vans to drive into the re­fu­elling hub from the A45 Small Heath High­way and could cre­ate up to 135 new jobs.

It will also at­tract up to five new busi­nesses at the site and gen­er­ate an in­crease in in­vest­ment into Ty­se­ley and the East­ern Cor­ri­dor be­tween Birm­ing­ham and Soli­hull.

The road is due to be com­pleted by the end of 2018 and the re­fu­elling hub is set to be in op­er­a­tion dur­ing spring 2019.

The project has been sup­ported with £1.76 mil­lion from the Greater Birm­ing­ham and Soli­hull Lo­cal Enterprise Part­ner­ship and a fur­ther £2.13 mil­lion se­cured from pri­vate in­vestors.

Chris Loughran, deputy chair­man of the LEP, said: “Ty­se­ley En­ergy Park will pro­vide com­pa­nies with bet­ter ac­cess to fu­els that are more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly.

“Our in­vest­ment re­flects our com­mit­ment to grow­ing the re­gion’s en­ergy sec­tor which has real po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate new jobs and bring more in­vest­ment here.”

A sec­ond, sep­a­rate in­vest­ment of £2.5 mil­lion has been an­nounced by the Univer­sity of Birm­ing­ham.

The univer­sity plans to build a 21,525 sq ft in­no­va­tion hub that will pro­vide busi­nesses with the chance to de­velop their tech­nol­ogy in col­lab­o­ra­tion with univer­sity staff the en­ergy park.

It said the hub would be a cen­tre for train­ing as­so­ci­ated with state-ofthe-art en­ergy, waste and low-car­bon trans­port sys­tems.

Pro­fes­sor Martin Freer, di­rec­tor of the univer­sity’s Birm­ing­ham En­ergy In­sti­tute, said: “This is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for the univer­sity to put back into the city as it de­vel­ops as a place which is at the cen­tre of the en­ergy tran­si­tion in the UK.”

Ty­se­ley En­ergy Park has been ear­marked as one of the West Mid­lands’ first four so-called ‘En­ergy In­no­va­tion Zones’.

Their main fo­cus will be to in­te­grate low-car­bon tech­nolo­gies to de­velop the busi­ness mod­els and in­fra­struc­ture needed to sup­port new ap­proaches to clean en­ergy.

The park al­ready has a £50 mil­lion biomass power sta­tion which pro­cesses 72,000 tonnes of waste tim­ber to power 17,000 homes.

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