THE award-winning hybrid energy centre at Wirral Met College has been officially opened by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.

Mayor Rotheram visited the college at Twelve Quays Campus during the North West Energy Management summit to officially open the centre and spoke about the importance of jobs and skills in the low carbon economy.

Working in partnership with the Merseyside Energy Club, the Local Energy North West Hub showcased the specialist hybrid energy centre to provide an update on regional and national energy agenda to sector specialists.

The low carbon micro-turbine energy centre was funded by £440,000 from the Local Growth Fund (LGF).

Mayor Rotheram told the Globe: “We are committed to improving facilities at our local colleges and to reducing the city region’s carbon footprint so we were delighted to support this project, which is showing the rest of the world the impact that combining innovative technologies can have.

"Not only is it enabling Wirral Met to lead the way environmentally; money saved on energy costs can be reinvested in the student experience.”

Gas powered micro turbines now produce 80% of the campus' electrical demand, minimising the need for electrical power from the grid.

Wirral Globe:

Principal and chief executive of Wirral Met College Sue Higginson shows Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram around the hybrid energy centre

The system uses phase-change thermal mass blocks with the turbines’ heat output to provide domestic hot water and heating for the entire campus.

Electrical storage batteries further reduce the campus’ energy demand by smoothing the electrical energy curve, reducing peak demand.

Chief executive and principal of Wirral Met College Sue Higginson said: “It is important that we embrace technologies that will make our environment cleaner, greener and more sustainable.

"I cannot think of a better place to create a ‘world first’ than Wirral Met College of Further Education and we are now embedding this technology into learning for students.

"Energy savings have been invested in creating more Pastoral Mentor posts for student support.

"I am grateful to our Liverpool City Region for investing in our project and for the lead that our Metro Mayor is taking on developing this important agenda.

"I am also very proud of my team; thanks to their work, the college has been awarded a Liverpool City Region Carbon Champion Award 2019.”

This is the first time that these technologies have been used anywhere in the world.