Solar farm to generate green power on campus
Five hectares of panels will generate 15 percent of required power, equivalent to that needed to fuel 500 homes.
A solar farm will soon begin supplying power to the Roslin Institute.
The five-hectare solar farm being installed at the Easter Bush campus will provide 15 per cent of electricity consumption to buildings on site.
Installation of almost 5000 ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels, which convert energy from sunlight into electricity, is due to be completed by November.
The site is expected to generate more than 1.4m kWh of electricity a year, which is roughly the same as that needed to supply 500 typical homes.
The move – one of the first to be housed on a University campus – is expected to save an estimated £200,000 per year in electricity costs and forms part of the University of Edinburgh’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2040.
Together with existing generation capacity, 60 per cent of Easter Bush’s electricity and 30 per cent of its heat will be generated on site from low or zero-carbon technologies.
The Easter Bush development includes a laboratory for solar PV research, enabling researchers to investigate improved methods of generating green power.
The University of Edinburgh was an early adopter of PV technology. Its first panels were installed at its King’s Buildings campus in 2007 and have since generated nearly 1,000MWh.
In recent years, the University’s solar installations have generated an average of 265MWh of electricity annually.
The new development will substantially increase that figure, to an average annual figure of 4,500 MWh, which will save more than 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
Edinburgh’s ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2040 represents one aspect of the University’s commitment to social and civic responsibility and to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The University has invested more than £20 million in low-carbon energy in recent years. The solar farm at Easter Bush will not only allow us to lead the way in the practical implementation of such technology, but research the next generation of low-carbon energy.
Producing clean power at Easter Bush is a welcome development that enhances our overall sustainability strategy. It not only produces energy efficiency savings, it also reduces the site’s impact on the environment.