The Scottish National Equestrian Centre (SNEC) in West Lothian has installed a large solar array in order to slash its carbon footprint, negate increasing energy price rises and benefit from feed-in tariff payments. The solar installation marks the second major green investment project on the Oatridge College estate near Broxburn.  

The array replicates one already on the roof of the college’s main teaching block and consists of 204 panels. The £140,000 SNEC development is believed to be the first large-scale installation to come on-stream in the Scottish educational sector.

The 50kWp system is estimated to save 20 tonnes of carbon from being emitted annually, and will help the SNEC reduce their demand on the National Grid by 65 percent.

AWS Solar, based in Forres, carried out both the photovoltaic installs for the college. The installation of solar thermal panels on four residential student blocks takes the total amount of solar panels on the estate to 450.

Des Martin, Assistant Principal of Oatridge College says the move to renewable energy will enhance its ‘green’ credentials: “The College Board and Senior Management at Oatridge are committed to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. To that end we have invested £280,000 in two 49.9 kilowatt arrays of solar photovoltaic panels. This should substantially reduce the energy bills and considerably reduce our carbon footprint”.