The University of Western England in Bristol is set to quadruple its solar generating capacity with the installation of a 450kWp roof array at its Frenchay Campus.

The institution claims it is the largest single roof-mounted solar PV array at a UK university. The installation is set to comprise 1,700 modules that will generate 400 MW of electricity each year, 100 per cent of which will be used within the Frenchay Campus.
Frenchay campus UWE
Business Green reports that the £650,000 investment in the array will provide annual savings of £55,000 a year as well as reducing carbon emissions by around 200 tonnes annually.

The modules will cover the roof of a 10,000 square metre building that houses the University Enterprise Zone and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, with the aim of generating up to half of the energy consumed annually by the two energy-intensive departments.

The university is also developing a combined heat and power system on site that will burn gas to generate electricity for use on the same campus, with buildings such as the Students’ Union and student accommodation making use of the heat via underground pipes.

The CHP facility and district heating project are together expected to save around 1,100 tonnes of CO2 each year, according to UWE Bristol, which said it recognised the importance of on-site generation in cutting carbon, increasing energy security and enhancing local renewables capacity.

Fabia Jeddere-Fisher, energy engineer at UWE Bristol, said the plans were a small part of the university’s aspiration to create a wider regional heat exchange network in the future.

“As a large organisation we want to set an example for others to undertake similar projects” she said.

The news comes in the same week it was revealed Bristol City Council provided financial support for the installation of a solar array at the Ashton Gate sports stadium in the city.