London SE1 community website

UK’s biggest hydrogen fuel cell installed in Blackfriars Road

London SE1 website team

Deputy Mayor of London Kit Malthouse unveiled the UK's biggest hydrogen fuel cell on Friday during a visit to the Transport for London and London Development Agency offices at Palestra in Blackfriars Road.

Fuel cell at Palestra
The pod at Palestra now has a permanent multimedia display
Thermal store at Palestra
The thermal store outside Palestra is a striking addition to Blackfriars Road

Transport for London and the London Development Agency have also signed up to 10:10 campaign to cut carbon emissions from head office buildings and save 400,000 from energy bills.

TfL has installed a 2.4 million Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant, including the hydrogen fuel cell, at the Palestra building to generate energy locally, cut carbon emissions and save money off energy bills.The building is shared by 2,800 TfL and LDA staff.

"Zero polluting hydrogen fuel has the potential to radically transform the way we power our city to create a more pleasant environment," says Kit Malthouse AM.

"This isn't a fuel of the future, but available right now. To catalyse its use more widely, we are showcasing the technology, so others will be inspired to follow our lead."

It is estimated that the fuel cell and power plant will cut carbon emissions by up to 40 per cent and generate 90,000 cost savings per annum.

A permanent multi-media display has been created at the front of the pod facing Blackfriars Road. Screens powered by the energy generated on site display scrolling statistics about energy use at Palestra as well as general climate change statistics.

The state of the art hydrogen fuel cell, funded by the 25 million TfL Climate Change fund, will provide electricity, heat and cooling to the building. In addition, the building's hot water supply will be heated by the fuel cell. At times of peak energy use, the building will generate a quarter of its own power, rising to 100 per cent off-peak.

The waste heat from power generation will be pumped into a unit on the roof which will work to keep the building cool and supplements the building's six electric chillers.

It is three years since the array of wind turbines on the roof of Palestra was removed. Just two of the original 14 turbines are now in place.

The SE1 website is supported by people like you
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.