University opts for more green power

Image of energy producing technologiesThe University authorities have approved a proposal to increase the size of the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine which will be the source of the energy required to power the new district heating scheme currently being installed on the Gilmorehill campus.

The engine also has the capacity to produce more electricity for consumption on campus with the larger engine generating almost all of the south campus demand.

‌The possibility of increasing the size and power of the unit had been under consideration by the project board, chaired by Professor Frank Coton, which is overseeing the complex project. It has now won the approval of the University’s Capital Expenditure, Estates and Finance committees.

The benefits of opting for a larger engine will be:

  • Additional carbon savings with the University having to buy fewer carbon credits. The larger engine saves an additional 2500 tonnes of carbon to achieve a total of 5000 tonnes (50% of our current 20% reduction target). This equates to additional savings of approximately £279,000 of reduced carbon costs over the anticipated 15-year life of the CHP engine.
  • The bigger engine will generate more electricity helping to cut the University’s consumption from the national grid and reducing our carbon footprint. Over the next fifteen years, it is estimated that the larger CHP engine will save an additional £3.9 million in utilities costs.

Robert Kilpatrick, Assistant Director (Estates Operations) told Campus eNews: “This is a very welcome development and it demonstrates the University’s commitment to sustainable environmental policies on campus. It takes us half way to our goal of reducing our carbon footprint by 20%...that is a considerable achievement from this important move by the University’s decision makers."

Project Board Chair, Professor Frank Coton said: “I know the wide scale excavations to renew the district heating scheme are causing inconvenience to many colleagues on campus. But I hope news of this additional investment will encourage people to see that there are very tangible environmental benefits from what the University is doing.”

First published: 2 April 2015

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