Energy solutions provider, SSE Enterprise has signed a joint development agreement with Goldsmiths, University of London to design and deliver a low carbon campus infrastructure in pursuit of the university’s ambitious net zero targets.
The project will see SSE Enterprise’s distributed energy division look to consolidate all of Goldsmiths’ significant energy-consuming buildings onto a centralised campus-wide heat and power network. It is estimated that the first phase of the project will save the institution an average of 1,375 tonnes of CO2 per year – the equivalent annual energy use of 144 homes.
The project has a core focus to reduce the carbon emissions associated with heat, as the university pledges to become completely carbon-neutral by 2025. The system will heat the buildings using a low-carbon heat pump, removing the majority of gas consumption on-site and saving up to 7,850 MWh of gas usage per year.
By integrating all power onto a single private network, the university will be able to use a much higher proportion of any onsite renewables, without the risk of exporting that electricity onto the grid. The new power system will expand on the university’s existing solar resources, installing a further 400kW of solar PV into the new private network, which will then be used to supply the heat pump, further reducing carbon emissions on site.
Giles Newton, Head of Public Sector & Regulated Markets at SSE Enterprise, said: “By bringing the whole campus onto a centralised system, we are able to integrate more renewable generation into its buildings without having to upgrade each one individually. While previous projects of this kind have focused on single technology solutions, we have chosen to adopt a whole systems approach. Integrating the entire system enables Goldsmiths to closely manage its carbon emissions and future proof the campus for renewable efficiency.”
Everton Williams, Deputy Director Estates at Goldsmiths, added: “The global climate crisis is a growing threat and one that we must target head-on. The technologies and experience available to support organisations such as ourselves have developed exponentially in recent years and it’s vital that we harness these solutions now to create a more green and sustainable future.
“We are excited to begin this journey with SSE Enterprise as they support us in our goals to deliver our PLAN25 strategy and achieve a completely carbon-neutral campus by 2025. We have already made significant strides in this area with our investment in solar PV panels, but this new partnership will see us fully embracing a ‘whole systems’ approach by adopting and integrating other low-carbon technologies.”
SSE Enterprise have already designed a concept for the system and are currently supporting Goldsmiths with applications for grant funding to enable the construction of the network and potentially the long-term operation of the system over a 25-year period. The 1MWth heat pump set to be installed will supply 6,500 MWh of low carbon heat to the site every year.
SSE has been confirmed as a major partner for this year’s COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow in November. SSE Group aims to deliver a £7.5 billion low carbon investment programme, developing some of the assets and infrastructure required for the UK to reach its target of net zero emissions by 2050.