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Promoting growth and acceleration in the development and exploitation of technologies for the energy market. The new Energy Centre at Thornton provides a flexible place where industry and academia come together to innovate, develop and demonstrate new intelligent energy technologies.

The facility seeks to promote growth and acceleration in the development and exploitation of technologies for the energy market, examples of technologies include:

  • New types of photovoltaic solar cells
  • Innovative electrical energy storage solutions
  • Developments in low power motor drives
  • New algorithms for load balancing on micro-grids
  • Non-electrical energy systems such as heat networks, thermal storage

Layout of the facility

  • Ground Floor: Industrial test bays, large coffee shop overlooking bays (glass frontage), boardroom with video-conferencing facilities
  • First Floor: High-quality offices and laboratories with write-up areas
  • Second Floor: Office space – opportunity for national headquarters and future expansion
  • Roof and Plant Room: Opportunity for plant/technology installation e.g. solar monitoring and testing

Key features of the Energy Centre

  • Ground floor test bays with high ceiling (7m), concrete resin floor and roller shutter doors enabling access for large units and equipment
  • A suite of equipment including an intelligent multi-vector micro-grid
  • Purpose built industrial space to build, develop, evaluate and showcase new and innovative energy technologies
  • Large-scale testing and modelling facilities
  • High-quality office and laboratory space

Client benefits of the Energy Centre

  • Access to an advanced and multi-vector micro-grid to allow product development, evaluation and demonstration of technologies including customer trials
  • Cost effective testing capability to enable evaluation and demonstration of novel energy equipment in real-world scenarios
  • Fully managed facility with technical and commercial support on hand from Energy Centre staff
  • Access to academic R&D expertise from the University of Chester's Science and Engineering Faculty co-located onsite
  • Located within an 'Enterprise Zone' site with a clear pathway of growth from Thornton Science Park to the adjacent Protos development (Peel)
  • Short to long-term tenancy options
  • Access to the wider energy community and other innovative companies within our network including SMEs

The Energy Centre development was funded from the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), who contributed £6.8m from the Local Growth Fund awarded as part of the LEP’s Growth Deal along with £8M invested from the University to create a facility for the "development, testing and demonstration of current and future energy technologies".

For further information about opportunities at The Energy Centre please email

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