Metropolitan, Brookfield Utilities UK.
Brookfield Utilities UK (‘BUUK’) are part of Brookfield Asset Management, a NYSE and Toronto top 500 listed global investor in infrastructure founded in 1899 with $186bn assets under management. BUUK is the UK’s leading provider of energy and multi utility infrastructure, making c2,500 new utility connections each week. BUUK has a portfolio of over 1.4m utility connections across over 22,000 sites in the UK.
Metropolitan, a wholly owned subsidiary of BUUK, specialise in the sale and delivery of sustainable energy solutions. Metropolitan provide design, build, contract and project management capability, with assets owned and operated by BUUK. Metropolitan provides a one-stop-shop bringing all the necessary skills and knowledge together, installing the energy plant, heat network, gas supply and electricity export connection to the grid.
This integrated approach delivers benefits from the design stage through to installation. The infrastructure is delivered at a strategic level, with off site reinforcement built in and the enabling site plant installed. The site networks are then extended as required and buildings plugged in.
BUUK include installation of the energy centre and setting up the Energy Services Company (ESCo). BUUK invest in the energy plant and all site networks, reducing the cost to the developer.
The district energy model separates supply (ESCo / energy centre) and distribution (heat network). BUUK own and invest in the district heating network. The model is unique as developers have the option to invest in the ESCo, which is fully managed by BUUK.
BUUK have extended this model to the retrofit / local authority market. This is a catalyst in helping communities become sustainable through the delivery of low carbon heat. Heat networks distribute heat from a complete variety of sources. Networks can build up separately and then be linked to form a city wide solution.
By owning the ESCo the local authority has control over customer heat charges. This can help address fuel poverty through a ‘not for profit’ ESCo approach. Equally, some local authorities support a more balanced ‘reasonable profits’ approach offering fair heat prices and the ability to use surplus operating profits from the ESCo to support other essential council services. Local authorities can select their preferred ownership route for the ESCo based on the needs of the local community and their social and political drivers.
An example of a Metropolitan project is the Argent site at King’s Cross in central London where BUUK own the heat distribution network alongside the regulated electricity, gas, water, wastewater and fibre networks and provide a managed ESCo on behalf of the client. At full build out the development will consist of up to 2500 homes and 6m sq feet of commercial property. The King’s Cross heat network also forms part of the London Plan, a strategy to interconnect all heat networks across central London to improve resilience and leverage the benefits of adding other available heat sources.
Brookfield Utilities UK