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Ideas at work - Merchant Square

Merchant Square

Essential services for business, delivered with energy.

In 2010, SSE Enterprise Utilities and European Land concluded an agreement for the adoption and long-term operation of two energy centres and associated district heating and cooling networks at Merchant Square in the heart of London. The new development combines residential, office and retail accommodation in a stunning waterside location.

Merchant Square, when completed, will comprise six new buildings, including a mix of residential, office and retail uses, regenerating land previously occupied by warehouses and other light industrial units. The development has been designed to exceptional standards by award winning architects. The scheme incorporates 72,000 sqm residential, with affordable housing and commercial space of approximately 37,000 sqm, plus an 8,000 sqm hotel. SSE stepped in to the project at an advanced stage of thedesign and construction process. Working closely with our client, European Land and their contractor, we improved the economic performance of the already installed plant.

SSE worked through the extended commissioning process to maximise the efficiency of the plant (up to and including the metering) to ensure its reliable operation. As a result, we have now taken on the operational risks associated with the performance of the plant. SSE has also taken on other key project risks including future fuel prices, customer heat and cooling demand and customer debt.

For the first phase of the development, SSE Enterprise Utilities has a long term agreement with European Land to transfer the heat assets built by others and to operate and maintain these assets (including the Energy Centres and District Heat Network) serving the first two buildings on the site.

SSE has made a capital contribution to the scheme and will supply heat and cooling to both the prestigious residential apartments and the commercial floor space, including supplies to Marks & Spencer as part of it’s UK Headquarters.

Technology solution

SSE’s technical due diligence team has worked with our client to develop the energy strategy for the future phases of the Merchant Square site to move to a single energy centre approach and avoid the cost and complexity of building further energy centres in each of the buildings yet to be constructed.

The single energy centre approach reduces our client’s capital costs and space requirements and enables SSE to offer a larger capital contribution for the scheme. The single energy centre approach will also provide greater CO2 savings.

SSE has also adopted the HV and LV electrical network on site, and will operate this as a publically licensed network, meaning that customers have complete freedom of choice for their electricity supplier.

The future

As part of our ongoing commitments to this project, SSE’s scope of service for heat and cooling will include:

  • Full customer service provision, including direct billing, for heat and cooling supplies to domestic and commercial customers on site
  • Full maintenance and operation of smart meters and Heat Interface Units (HIU’s) within customer properties
  • Full maintenance and operation of heat and cooling plant in the energy centre.

Residents are assured of top-quality, reliable service and support from SSE’s award winning customer service teams who manage over ten million energy and phone accounts in the UK.

SSE delivers domestic heat prices that provide reliable, benchmarked, savings over traditional heat from individual gas boilers and benchmarked commercial heat and cooling prices to ensure value for money against a traditional approach.