The University of Birmingham has invested £2.5 M in the Tyseley Energy Park (TEP) to work towards overcoming challenges such as energy poverty and poor air quality in the West Midlands.

The West Midlands region faces severe energy business and social challenges; energy poverty is the worst in the UK; there is a high concentration of intensive manufacturing; poor quality air and areas of electricity grid constraint.

TEP, developed by Webster and Horsfall’s 300 year old manufacturing business, is set to become the energy and waste nexus for the city of Birmingham, showing how novel energy technologies can form an innovative industrial ecology. It will help shape the way the City of Birmingham develops infrastructure for renewable heat and power, energy storage, clean transport fuels in combination with advanced waste processing.

This investment builds on the plans of the West Midlands Combined Authority to support the development of four Energy Innovation Zones, (EIZs) across the region, of these, TEP is the most developed. The main focus of the EIZs will be to integrate low carbon technologies, to develop the business models and infrastructure needed to support new approaches to clean energy as well as overcome the regulatory barriers necessary for them to flourish. They will be designed to stimulate local clean energy innovation and drive productivity within the region, exports and growth.

As a result of this investment, the University of Birmingham intends to develop skills and training within TEP, together with collaborative research and development of manufacturing to help companies successfully engage with the revolution that is happening in transport, energy and the circular economy.

Professor Martin Freer, from the University of Birmingham, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute: ‘We are extremely excited by the opportunity of working with Webster and Horsfall in the development of Tyseley Energy Park. This is a fantastic opportunity for the University to put back into the City of Birmingham as it develops as a place which is at the centre of the energy transition in the UK; the Energy Capital. ’

David Horsfall, Webster and Horsfall: ‘We are delighted to welcome the University of Birmingham to Tyseley Energy Park and by working together we have a great opportunity to create clean energy technologies and infrastructure. We recognise that the University of Birmingham is one of the top Universities in the UK and by working in collaboration with the both the public and private sector as well as a work class academic institution, Tyseley Energy Park will drive forward change and attract major investment into this region.

He continued: ‘The potential of this site is huge and by working in collaboration with world class partners Tyseley Energy Park will develop a Distributed Energy System that includes renewable and low carbon generation that marks a shift away from fossil fuels for energy generation delivering a greener and cleaner ecosystem for Birmingham and the West Midlands.’