Commonwealth leaders visit ENGIE Energy Centre in East London

On 10 May 2017 delegates from CSCLeaders including HRH The Princess Royal visited the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where ENGIE provides both district energy and facilities management, to help them answer the challenge set for 2017 “What could be the future of energy in Commonwealth cities?”

CSCLeaders is an annual conference that assembles 100 senior individuals from across the Commonwealth to tackle challenges that businesses, governments and society face today and build the global relationships needed by the leaders of tomorrow.

Energy is crucial for achieving almost all of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), from its role in the eradication of poverty through advancements in health, education, water supply and industrialisation, to combating climate change. Cities have a vital role to play in achieving SDG7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.

Cities are the engines of the world economy generating around 80% of global GDP, consuming two thirds of the world’s energy and responsible for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Energy is essential to all city functions and services; it is at the heart of both the challenge and the solution to achieving healthier, more resilient and prosperous cities. As the world urbanises, it is crucial that cities develop innovative approaches to energy supply, delivery and management.

The CSCLeaders spent two days on study tours immersing themselves in London to explore the energy challenge in depth. The purpose of the visit to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was to provide an opportunity to explore the Energy Centre at Stratford and understand the role that the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and ENGIE are playing in shaping the future of energy and regeneration in London.

ENGIE provides 21 separate services at the Park, supplies heating and cooling through its low carbon energy centres and is the founding partner of the Our Parklife Community Interest Company. The visit included presentations from LLDC and ENGIE, a guided buggy tour of the Park and a walking tour of the King’s Yard Energy Centre.

David Goldstone, Chief Executive, LLDC, led the presentations explaining its role as a regeneration body answerable to Mayor of London with plan-making and development control powers. The LLDC acts a single point of contact for developers, investors, and landowners and is responsible for the transformation, neighbourhoods, and new cultural and education district areas surrounding the Park. David’s presentation illustrated how the regeneration plans for the local area will deliver a wide range of community benefits including new social infrastructure, local employment and skills development, schools and youth engagement, access to sport and physical activity opportunities and volunteering.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is one of the first of a growing network of smart, sustainable districts across Europe. The Park and its surrounds are designed to promote walking, cycling and other forms of low-carbon transport. The District Energy Network (DEN) is designed to be low carbon to meet zero-carbon targets for homes. The LLDC and ENGIE work closely to ensure that the network is operating efficiently within set carbon parameters and that it is futureproofed (capacity-wise and technology-wise).

Together, ENGIE and the LLDC have saved over 660 tonnes of CO2 per annum through interventions at the London Aquatics Centre and saved more than 1,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2016/17 through DEN interventions. Innovation and continuous improvement are a crucial factor in developing the smart city energy approach for the district. Smart homes trials are being undertaken at East Village, the integration of clean mobility solutions including electric vehicle charging and autonomous vehicles are under investigation and LLDC is building 3D maps and virtual reality simulations to help citizens to visualise energy use within the district.

Ben Watts, Managing Director, Urban Energy for ENGIE, provided an insight into ENGIE’s district energy schemes. Globally, ENGIE operates over 230 district energy centres and has 11 in the UK comprising over 50km of heating and cooling networks. ENGIE’s district energy centres provide local, low-carbon energy generation and consumption with electricity generated locally, avoiding transmission power losses, the ‘waste’ heat is used for space heating and hot water.

The district energy scheme at the Park operates as a 40 year concession agreement between ENGIE, Stratford City Developments Ltd and LLDC. There are two energy centres, King’s Yard and Stratford City, and 16 km of buried pre-insulated pipe installed across the site providing heat and chilled water plus fibre network for metering and monitoring. The scheme has resulted in approximately 11,700 tonnes per annum of carbon savings, a 24% reduction over conventional generation, and the provision of energy at a similar price to high carbon systems.


Charlotte Conroy, General Manager for ENGIE, provided an overview of the estates and facilities management (EFM) on the Park. The EFM contract is a 10 year agreement which commenced on 1 April 2014 following two years of mobilisation. ENGIE delivers 21 service streams across the dynamic estate ranging from cleaning, CCTV, horticultural services to waterways management. There are four core pillars to ENGIE’s service to LLDC:

Integrated Energy Solutions: District energy provided via two energy centres for the Park, its Venues, Westfield Stratford and associated residential areas.

Catering concession and visitor attraction: Operating the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the UK’s largest sculpture and the first attraction on the Park, and the Podium Bar and Kitchen, a visitor café and corporate hospitality venue.

Maintaining the Park and Venues: The Park comprises 45 hectares of habitat and has attained the Green Flag Award. The Venues include the Copper Box Arena, the London’s third largest permanent arena, and the London Aquatics Centre. In 2016, the Park welcomed over 122,000 visitors and ENGIE provided support for over 100 events at the Park and its Venues.

Community Interest Company: Our Parklife was established as a social enterprise to help deliver the legacy of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games when the Park reopened to the public in 2014. ENGIE invested over £90,000 as a start-up grant over three years and provides ongoing central admin support including finance, commercial, insurance, legal, IT and HR for the company. In 2016, Our Parklife coordinated and managed more than 850 Park Champions volunteering over 13,700 hours of time to support events, offer customer and mobility services and help with conservation and gardening. Our Parklife was awarded Investing in Volunteers accreditation this month.

Following the presentations, Adele Lefebvre, Volunteer Manager, and one of the Park Champions took the delegation on a buggy ride around the Park. The final part of the tour was a guided walk around the Energy Centre at Kings Yard incorporating the biomass boiler and control centre.

The morning was an energising and engaging insight into the collaborative work that ENGIE and LLDC are undertaking to support the regeneration of East London. Highlights of the CSCLeaders conference can be seen on Twitter @CSCLeaders.

ENGIE launched its UK home energy business this month and recently acquired the regeneration business of Keepmoat, the UK’s leading provider of regeneration services, which will extend ENGIE’s opportunities for engagement with local communities and provide a platform to reduce fuel poverty and improve community energy services.

If you would like to discuss how ENGIE’s combined regeneration, community energy and home energy services can support and improve the lives of citizens in your community, please contact email us at