Greenwich Peninsula ESCO Limited (GPEL) is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up to design, build, operate and maintain all the energy infrastructure at the Greenwich Peninsula development. This £8.4bn development is one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK, in 200 acres of highly contaminated brownfield land surrounding the O2 Arena.

In 2013 Pinnacle Power was appointed as operator on behalf of GPEL. Pinnacle Power, a part of the Pinnacle Group would work in partnership with the Council and Knight Dragon, the developer, in order to ensure that:

  • The speed of build out of the properties was not impacted by the DH requirements – there were no penalties levied for delays.
  • The carbon objectives for the scheme could be met; the network will save over 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum, the equivalent to taking 18,000 cars off London’s roads.
  • Minimum disruption to tenants and excellent customer service.

The main energy centre includes 87MW of heat generation capacity. There are also temporary energy centres linked through a 10+ mile pipe network. The network has been designed by Pinnacle Power as a forward-looking energy system, focused on potential methods of extracting heat from sources as diverse as the Thames to the local tube network.

The contract provides Pinnacle Power and the GPEL ESCO with the rights and obligations to:

  • Design, install, operate and maintain a district heating network using Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology.
  • Supply heat to 15,700 residential units, including a mix of private and social tenants.
  • Deliver heat cheaper than an agreed Residential Comparator under a guarantee to governing parties.
  • Supply heat to over 3.5 million ft2 of commercial space.
  • Undertake all metering and billing activities.

Pinnacle Power worked with the developer, the Local Authority and the Greater London Authority to evolve the master-plan and allow it to move from 10,000 homes to 15,700 homes. As such, Pinnacle Power has adopted a pragmatic and flexible approach to the energy system design and operation to allow for ongoing changes made by the developer. As a key member of the development team Pinnacle Power’s role included:

  • Delivery of the Energy Strategy.
  • Putting in place Customer Supply Agreements for residential and commercial customers, and associated property legal documentation.
  • Producing a ‘contractors pack’ for builders to facilitate trouble-free installation.
  • Set up and run a customer facing brand to provide residents with low cost, low carbon energy.


Since being commissioned the ESCO has adopted six tower blocks from contractors, with three more to come this year and one major hotel. Four temporary energy centres (which were designed and delivered typically with no more than three months’ notice) were installed within 2-3 days and have since been relocated where necessary, providing the flexibility required for optimum system delivery. Pinnacle Power has completed all the utility (including water) connections into the centres, and to date, there has been zero downtime from the Energy Centre.

Watch BBC News’ full video on Greenwich Energy Centre’s flues here.