Plymouth University receives funding for renewable energy system

The funding, from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), will see a range of new technologies installed in the Charles Seale-Hayne Library and the Students’ Union building.

It will complement the University’s existing green initiatives, which have recently seen it come second in the 2013 People & Planet Green League and named in the top five of the global UI Greenmetrics rankings.

Simon Denham, Head of Procurement and Sustainability at Plymouth University, said: “At Plymouth, we are proud of our commitment to sustainability and know our pioneering and innovative approach is welcomed by both staff and students. This funding will enable us to increase our use of renewable energy on campus, as part of our wider commitment to be a national champion in this area.”

This is the third time the University, which was also among the big winners at the 2012 Public Sector Sustainability Awards, has received funding from HEFCE’s Revolving Green Fund.

In previous years, it has received more than £1.3million to fund initiatives including creating the world's first integrated information communication technology and building energy management system, which can control all energy-consuming devices and systems in public or private buildings.

This latest investment of £564,940 will see the installation of a solar thermal system to be used in combination with a combined heat and power (CHP) plant to produce low carbon domestic hot water.

The system will be replacing local electric water heaters and there will also be a significant upgrade of the heating and hot water systems in the library and Students’ Union buildings to maximise the savings made.

The third round of allocations from the RGF will see 43 universities receive funding to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions. The projects are expected to save around 20,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions, and £21 million will be allocated over the academic years 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Steve Egan, HEFCE Deputy Chief Executive, said: “The third round of funding from HEFCE’s Revolving Green Fund will further help universities and colleges make an impact on improving energy efficiency and their carbon reduction targets. The scheme at Plymouth University uses solar and improved traditional heating methods to reduce the University’s carbon footprint and reduce costs.”