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Strategy to solve Solihull hub energy shortfall

Rolton Group’s specialist energy team are developing a strategic energy solution to address the predicted shortfall in power supply at The UK Central Hub in Solihull; an area of significant potential economic growth in the West Midlands.

The UK Central Hub in Solihull (The Hub - pictured above showing heavy energy users and key areas) is set to experience significant growth over the next 15 years, including the redevelopment of Birmingham International Station, growth at the NEC and Birmingham Airport, a new metro tram service, and future development at the 340 acre Arden Cross site (including development of the new HS2 Interchange Station).

This, alongside Midlands-based automotive manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover’s increasing electric vehicle testing and production, and the growing uptake and use of electric vehicles, will greatly increase energy demands in the area, placing added pressure on existing infrastructure and power supplies. The significant increase in anticipated energy consumption must be addressed to realise the ambitious growth plans at The Hub.

The Urban Growth Company (UGC) – a special purpose delivery vehicle set up by Solihull Council to coordinate growth and facilitate major infrastructure investment at The Hub – has appointed Rolton Group to work with the interested partners to forecast the combined future power requirements across the site in an initial project co-funded by Jaguar Land Rover, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, Solihull Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Following the identification of current and future power requirements, an outline solution will be developed, with early indications from Rolton Group’s initial assessment suggesting that a new primary substation connected to the national electricity transmission system (NTS) may be the most effective outcome. An initial recommendation to stakeholders is expected in late spring 2019.

Philip Farrell, Interim Managing Director at the Urban Growth Company, explained the importance of the partnership approach: “The Hub is all about creating something which is greater than the sum of the parts and this collaborative project is the perfect example of this in action. Solihull Council identified this potential shortfall and we’ve been able to confirm it with the help of Rolton Group – this next step is about working with partners to find the solution.”

If as initially anticipated, a new primary substation is the preferred option, a separate application will be made to fund a feasibility study with National Grid with a potential agreement possible as early as mid-2020.

For more information or for strategic energy advice on your own development project, please email Jenny Baker at Rolton Group.