University of Cambridge installs 1,500 solar panels on new campus
The University of Cambridge has improved its sustainability credentials with the announcement that it has completed a large solar array on its new £350 million North West Cambridge development.
The 1,500 solar panels have been fitted on new buildings across the 150 hectare site in Eddington, just outside the city. Once finished the campus will house 3,500 graduates and university staff; new academic research space and public buildings, such as a primary school and health centre.
The 373 kilowatt array is estimated to cut energy use by over 298,000 kilowatt hours a year, according to G&H Sustainability, which completed the project.
The University is ensuring the new development is built to the highest standards in sustainability. Along with renewable energy, the site has a water recycling system reported to be the largest in the UK, and sustainable urban drainage.
Construction Director, Gavin Heaphy, recently told trade publication Construction News: “It’s got to be part of the city, it can’t be separate from it – which is why there has to be a sustainable, long-lasting commitment”.
Andrew Hudson, Director at G&H Sustainability, said: “The North West Cambridge Development is a major, high profile scheme by one of the world’s leading universities. The university took the opportunity to affect the built environment and encourage sustainability throughout as it seeks a BREEAM Excellent rating (a sustainability certificate)”
“Solar PV plays a key part in this and any long-term energy reduction strategy. Solar is ideally suited to large roof top arrays, significantly reducing carbon footprints and energy bills”
The site is primarily being built to accommodate an estimated 5,000 new students and 3,000 staff at the university over the next 25 years. A lack of affordable housing is also an issue in the city.
Image Credit: University of Cambridge