New Cross Hospital Combined Heat and Power Case Study

New Cross Hospital is a 700-bed acute general hospital in Wolverhampton. It offers general and specialist hospital services for people across much of Midlands and provides a full range of medical and surgical specialities.

Meeting New Cross Hospital's carbon reduction targets

In 2004 the £57m heart and lung centre opened on the site, the United Kingdom's first purpose built specialist heart facility.

The challenge

To meet the NHS's carbon reduction target of 26% by 2020, the Hospital were looking to reduce the overall carbon footprint and energy costs while guaranteeing stable supplies of heat, electricity and hot water to the patient care environments in the new facilities at New Cross Hospital.

The solution

Veolia (Cogenco) Combined Heat and Power worked closely with the hospital and the Carbon and Energy Fund to design and install a 2MWe CHP based system and that incorporates 1,183kWt low temperature hot water and 1,500kg/hr waste heat recovery boiler to ensure delivery of power, hot water and steam services to the hospital.

The 2MWe CHP effectively recovers the heat produced as a by-product of the electrical generation process. The heat is then fed back into the system to heat up water. The CHP plant covers approximately 40% of the hospital's entire heating and water requirements and 75% of its electrical demand.

The site is a steam site, so the plate heat exchangers feed into the existing system so that the system boosts the heat if required or, if the CHP is off line, the plate heat exchangers take the lead. They are all monitored by a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system that Veolia installed.

Veolia produced a flexible configuration to include the existing incinerator. Normally, in a scheme like this, the CHP is the lead boiler with conventional boiler firing when required. The system at New Cross uses the incinerator waste heat boiler as the lead boiler followed by the CHP and finally the conventional boilers. This enables the Hospital to retain the energy savings from the incinerator before any are claimed from the CHP.

HV electricity is generated by the CHP plant which avoids the need for a step-up transformer which would have added loses to the system. A new HV/LV transformer was also fitted at the boiler house to replace the obsolete transformer and included a voltage optimisation unit for voltage optimisation on site.

To reduce energy usage the contract included a comprehensive lighting scheme containing over 1,400 low energy fittings which focused on corridor areas, using high frequency lighting as part of the guaranteed savings. The new lights are clearer and brighter and contribute to the energy savings.

The plant installation was project managed by Veolia's Engineering Team and is operated and maintained by Veolia's local mobile service teams on a 24/7 basis.

The result

The new CHP based energy system maximises energy security for the hospital, and delivers carbon savings estimated to be 1,500 tonnes of CO2 per year. The contract delivers the energy security needed to support patient care, reduces exposure to electricity price changes and delivers guaranteed cost saving of £960,000 per year.


"Veolia's scheme was the most competitive and energy efficient and showed the most savings - they would have been on my shortlist from the beginning. They also have a proven track record with more CHPs, and did more information collection and site visits. They really met the technical requirements and offered the most cost-effective option"

Adrian Evans 
Deputy Head of Estates


 1,500 tonnes of CO2 saved per year

Guaranteed cost saving of £960,000 per year