DCMS blog

Mayor talks rhubarb and awards a gold to the French at the Olympic Park



Moira Redmond, DCMS Sustainability policy advisor for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on the opening of the new Olympic Park Energy Centre:
It’s OK – the gold medal is for vision in sustainability and the French are not elite athletes but the team which has designed and will operate the new King’s Yard Energy Centre on the Olympic Park, or Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as I must remember to call it, which the Mayor was helping the ODA to unveil on Tuesday morning (19 October).

The Mayor awarded this gold, in the presence of colleagues from DCMS, Defra, DECC, LOCOG, ODA, OPLC, GOE and GLA who work on London2012 sustainability as well as a number of very interested utilities and energy professionals and press.
It was one of those lovely sunny but crisp Autumnal mornings when the Park looks fabulous, especially now that the ODA has started planting trees and plants and all the venues are so close to completion. We all lined up to go through security at the South Plaza beside Pudding Mill Lane DLR, ready to board the ODA buses to take us past the Olympic Stadium and the Village towards the Energy Centre at 9am, looking forward to seeing the latest developments.
Energy Centre

Industrial architecture

It was the first time I’ve seen the Energy Centre up close and, in my opinion, it is a good example of industrial architecture which enhances an adjoining Edwardian industrial building which has been renovated, houses part of the utilities infrastructure and includes space for a visitors’ centre to be added in the future.
The Energy Centre will be operational in the New Year and is important to me as it is a key symbol of the entire London 2012 sustainability story. It will play a significant part in reducing the Park’s carbon emissions by providing an efficient low carbon heating and cooling system for venues and buildings across the Park, and is helping to deliver an early legacy of sustainable energy across the site for generations to come, well in advance of the Games.

Zero carbon

To paraphrase a well-known advertising tagline: ’Now for (some of) the science’…
The Energy Centre includes 5 cooling towers, and 2 hot water boilers each weighing around 60 tons. It will use zero carbon renewable energy sources such as biomass and a flexible modular building design avoids overcapacity in the first phase of development but allows future sustainable technologies to be incorporated in the building as they are developed and as demand grows after 2012.
If you’re interested in more information Mean, Lean and Green, Powering the Olympic Park outlines the new energy infrastructure on the Park with some great photos of the Energy Centre.
Incidentally, the ODA operates free guided bus tours of the Park and Olympic Village at the weekend and on selected weekday and if you haven’t yet had a chance to tour the Park I can’t recommend it highly enough – even in the rain – just call 0300 2012 001 to book your place.
Oh, and the reference to rhubarb? It’s one of the materials that the Mayor speculated could be used as fuel in the Energy Centre as the renewable energy sector develops in the future.

Share this