Metrodome cuts carbon emissions by going coal free

Barnsley’s flagship leisure complex the Metrodome is now coal free for the first time in its history thanks to a major upgrade to its heating systems which has reduced its annual carbon emissions by 1,500 tonnes.

A system of modern efficient gas-fired boilers and state-of-the-art combined heat and power (CHP) equipment will provide the sports and leisure complex with all of its heat and half of its electricity. The upgrade follows investment by Barnsley Council and Barnsley Premier Leisure, which manages the centre.

The system will save 1,500 tonnes of carbon per year, and the electricity which the CHP provides as a free by-product will reduce the cost of running the centre and its dependency on other forms of energy. New air conditioning units will also mean the pool area will be less humid.

The centre is currently closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 national restrictions. When it re-opens it will be with a much-reduced impact on the environment.

The upgrade is a step towards Barnsley Council’s ambition for the whole of Barnsley to be net carbon zero by 2045. This means reducing emissions as far as possible, with any emissions remaining offset by carbon capture methods such as tree planting.

Cllr Chris Lamb, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Place (Environment and Transportation) said: “We’re embedding a carbon reduction culture right across the council and it’s fantastic to be able to take 1,500 tonnes of carbon a year out of our atmosphere with this upgrade.

“Councillors who approved the original design of the Metrodome in the 1980s would have been proud to see coal-fired boilers installed in the ultra-modern centre as a show of support for Barnsley’s coalmining workforce.

“While we’re all proud of Barnsley’s rich history of mining, today we can be just as proud to see a lower carbon Metrodome because addressing the climate emergency and reducing our impact on the planet is the most important thing we can do for our next generation.”

BPL Barnsley Contracts Manager Joni Millthorpe said: “We are pleased that when we are able to reopen the Metrodome, we’ll have a much greener leisure centre. To reduce our annual carbon emissions by 1,500 tonnes is a great achievement and an important one in the current climate emergency.

“BPL are proud to have worked in partnership with Barnsley Council on this project and we will continue to play our part in making Barnsley net carbon zero by 2045.”

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