Scotland’s Edinburgh Napier University’s property and facilities department has commissioned the installation of a BlueGen fuel cell combined heat and power unit (pictured) running on natural gas.
In a project managed by iPower Energy Limited, which covered the cost of supplying and installing the unit, the University will use the installation for educational purposes within the School of Engineering and the Built Environment, and for demonstrations to external audiences.
Under the terms of the contract, the university pays for servicing and the gas consumed, in return enjoying free use of all the electricity and heat generated. Eligible for the government’s feed-in tariff income which goes to iPower, the deal provides a model for a wider programme due to be launched soon.
As the first Scottish installation of BlueGEN, Edinburgh Napier will demonstrate the future potential for the technology of power generation on both domestic and business premises, backers of the scheme say.
Jon Cape, managing director of iPower, explains: ‘The capital cost of supply and installation is met by iPower. The site-owner – the University in this case – pays for gas consumed by the unit and for servicing and enjoys free use of all electricity and heat generated, giving rise to substantial net savings to the site owner.’
Richard Cebula, energy and utilities manager at Edinburgh Napier University, added: ‘It is hoped that the university will be able to further utilise the BlueGEN and similar technology on a larger scale within its buildings in its bid to achieve its ambitious carbon reduction targets. Self-generation of electricity is increasingly becoming a more critical element of carbon management.’