The University of West England (UWE) has installed over 80kWp of solar across its Frenchay Campus in its quest to halve the university’s carbon emissions by 2021.

The university turned to local installers, Solarsense, to design and install a 50kWp array on UWE’s Centre for Sport as well as a 32kWp array on the nearby Planning and Architecture building.

Solarsense estimates that the systems will help UWE generate around 74,000kWh of electricity every year, saving around 39 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere. The university hopes to recoup its initial investment in less than eight years thanks to the associated feed-in tariff income. The profit generated from the scheme will be reinvested into further energy-saving schemes around UWE’s campus.   

Phil Kearns, UWE’s Estates Operations Manager, said: “We are using the new solar arrays to demonstrate the effectiveness of solar PV. If it proves as successful as we expect, we will be asking the UWE executive board to invest in more PV arrays.”

UWE is already implementing an extensive programme to refit all the university’s existing lights with low energy LD lamps. Students are also helping to reduce UWE’s environmental impact, by taking part in the universoty’s ‘switch-off’ campaign – which has seen energy consumprion shrink by 13 percent since 2008.  

Richard Harris of Solarsense said: “Installing solar PV panels makes sense three times over for UWE by helping it achieve its goal of halving its carbon emissions, saving on energy costs and producing a good return on its investment.”