University’s new solar panels to offer unique research possibilities

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New solar panels have been installed at the University of Suffolk which will provide innovative research opportunities.

university of suffolk solar panelsNew solar panels have been installed at the University of Suffolk which will provide innovative research opportunities as well as energy cost-savings of around 25% on the electricity they produce.

The installation is a joint initiative between the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership and the university, to be installed on the roof of the university’s Atrium building.

Councillor Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, said:

“This is an excellent example of partnership working in Suffolk, as we continue our ambition of Creating the Greenest County. I’m delighted that the vision of the university has enabled this installation and I hope that other Suffolk organisations will take a look at the business case for solar energy, which is a compelling one.

“Following on from the success of the Solar Together Suffolk project, which is seeing over 700 solar panel systems installed in homes across the county, Suffolk continues to work hard to further reduce its carbon footprint and support more sources of renewable energy.”

The 30kWp solar PV array is expected to pay for itself and generate a healthy surplus over its lifetime, through a combination of energy bill savings and income from the government’s Feed-in Tariff.

Justine Oakes Sustainability Manager at the University of Suffolk, said:

“We are excited about the potential which this solar panel installation will offer our academic researchers within the Suffolk Sustainability Institute. Each panel is being fitted with the ability to communicate its performance back to a central software platform, providing invaluable real-time data.

“One example we are exploring is a comparative study with green roof biosolar array panels to test the theory that such an approach can provide a cooling effect and enhance panel performance during peak summer months, whilst simultaneously enhancing urban biodiversity.”

The Suffolk Climate Change Partnership is a collaboration between Suffolk County Council, all Suffolk’s Borough and District councils, the Environment Agency and the University of Suffolk.

It supports the county’s communities, businesses and residents to reduce carbon emissions, realise the economic benefits of reducing energy consumption and adapt to the future impacts of climate change.

For more information about how the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership could support your business, www.greensuffolk.org or email creatinggreenestcounty@suffolk.gov.uk