The Tyseley Energy Park (TEP), is an Energy Innovation Zone being developed in the City of Birmingham to help drive the transformation of the city to meet its plan for decarbonisation and the development of a clean air zone.

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Tyseley Energy Park: The integration of waste and recycling with energy, fuels and transportation solutions for the City of Birmingham

The Tyseley Energy Park (TEP), was developed initially by the company Webster and Horsfall Ltd, the owners of the site. Webster and Horsfall is a 300 year old manufacturing company, famous for making the first transatlantic cable. The site was later invested in by the University of Birmingham, linked to the Innovate UK funded programme of the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), to create locations for large scale demonstration of integrated energy systems.

The USP of TEP is the integration of energy from waste plants with electricity and fuels production. ERA’s investment in Tyseley Energy Park has centred around an innovative Thermo-Catalytic Reformer (TCR), which uses an improved pyrolysis technology to transform various kinds of biomass into synthesis gas, charcoal and diesel quality oil, effectively using around 70% of the energy in the biomass. The TCR process converts the biomass into high quality syngas, biooil, biochar and water.

TEP has been adopted by Energy Capital, the organisation within the West Midlands Combined Authority, as one of the five trial Energy Innovation Zones within the region, aimed at leading the clean energy and transport transition within the region. Birmingham City Council has set stretching targets to deliver a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2027.
TEP is now intimately connected with the development of the City of Birmingham. In addition to the need to deliver carbon reductions, the city will also deliver a clean air zone in early 2020 and linked to the waste contract, a diversification of waste processing.

The further development of the TEP is progressing with the installation of a new Energy from Waste, EfW, plant adjacent to the Tyseley rail station and the Tyseley Rail Depot (right). This new plant will generate 25 MW of electricity, with planning permission in train.

The key developments at TEP include:

  • Birmingham Biopower which has built a wood waste gasification plant that produces 10 MW of electricity (£48m investment), with a private wire agreement that provides the site with low cost renewable power.
  • In TEP phase 2, hydrogen will be produced on site via a 3.5MW ITM Power Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyser, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen generated is very high purity, meeting all requirements for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) that will initially supply fuel for 20 hydrogen buses and private cars and vans. Hydrogen fuel facilities have the potential to revolutionise road-based public transport by offering zero emission refuelling that has the same operational flexibility as diesel buses.
  • TEP has developed a low and zero carbon refuelling station that will principally serve the region’s business fleets. It is the first of a network of low/zero emission multi-fuel hubs to support the transition of business fleets across Birmingham and the wider area as part of a wider carbon reduction and air quality improvement agenda.
  • The site is already the home of a company leasing electric vehicles using the fast charge of the site and is set to be the first low carbon, low emission, fuel hub for the city. These investments correspond to around £70m.

In the future, the opportunity is to link to the hydrogen production for the buses, with the installation of further electrolysers to deliver hydrogen for this cross city rail line reducing the diesel emissions for the city centre. The University of Birmingham and ERA, with its partners, is well placed to deliver this development given the ongoing retrofit project which is to deliver hydrogen-refit to retired rolling stock. The vision to create an integrated city transport system demonstrator is close to being realised.

For more information about Tyseley Energy Park, click here.

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It is estimated that the total investment opportunity for the Tyseley Energy Park is around £500 million.

Tyseley Energy Park