As a high energy consumer it is essential that we look at not only how we can reduce demand but how we generate enough energy to meet our demand requirements.
The University’s invested £19 million on the Heating and Infrastructure Project (HIP), which saw the Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP) and Energy Centre constructed. The CHP uses gas to generate electricity for the University on site, and then captures the excess heat generated in order to distribute it into the district heating system for the University. The University is experiencing savings of 7,000 tonnes of CO2 each year from the CHP, resulting in a 13% reduction in the University’s carbon footprint. The Energy Centre then allows the University to monitor the electricity and heat produced from the CHP, alongside that received from utility companies.
The University hosts the first interdisciplinary centre dedicated to energy research in the North West - The Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy - which will undertake research into renewable energy sources such as hydrogen generation and storage, solar harvesting, wind and marine energy and fusion technology.
The University has recently invested in a 3 Solar PV sites located on the Engineering Building (block B), Foundation Building, and at Ness Gardens (as part of the weather station). Each site has the potential to save up to 20 tonnes of C02. Solar thermal panels are also proposed to be installed on south facing roof areas of the vine court residences to supplement the domestic hot water demand thus reducing the gas loads.
The University is currently conducting feasibility studies into wind energy generation, biofuels and anaerobic digestion.