Nearly 40 years after it closed down, Battersea Power Station is about to start generating electricity again.
Although this time, via an underground gas powered plant rather than in the famous power station building itself, which is being turned into an array of expensive homes.
Situated ten metres below ground and directly in front of the Power Station building, the new Energy Centre will supply heating, cooling and electricity to the 42-acre regeneration site, with the potential to supply energy to residents and businesses across the wider Nine Elms regeneration area.
This particular energy centre will be split over two levels and when fully built, the current design allows for three combined heat and power gas fired (CHP) engines (two 2MWe and one 3.3MWe), three 10MWth gas fired boilers, seven 60m³ thermal stores and six 4MWe chillers.
The CHP engines produce electricity via the combustion of gas which in turn generates heat as a by-product. This heat will be harnessed and transferred into useable energy for hot water. Similarly, the chillers use electricity to drive a compressor in a refrigerant cycle which transfers cool energy to a water circuit to produce chilled water.
Overall, CHP engines are 40-45 per cent more efficient than conventional power generation.
The structural build is now complete and has been handed over to Vital Energi which is now fitting it out according to their own design, ahead of completion in 2020.
When operational, the vapour plume from the underground plant will be expelled through the rebuilt north-east chimney of the original power plant.
They also plan to occasionally colour the plume of emissions for special events.