Grŵp Llandrillo Menai is set to double its output from solar voltaic energy following the installation of its first large scale solar array last year.
A solar array of 100kWp was installed on the Sports building roof at the Grŵp’s Rhos-on-Sea campus in August. Since then, it has already generated well over 10,000kW electricity, equating to a saving in excess of £1,500.
The Grŵp has set ambitious targets to minimise its carbon dioxide emissions from electricity usage, as detailed in the 2020-21 Environmental Action Plan. The aim is to achieve total savings of 107,780KWh and 44,410kg in CO2 emissions, which corresponds to a financial saving of £17,840.
All new buildings developed by the Grŵp are compliant with the BREAMS ‘excellent’ classification. This means that renewable energy is incorporated at the design stage and photovoltaic cells are installed on all new buildings.
In 2019/20, these generated a carbon gain of 31,954 KgCO2e, including the new, state-of-the art Engineering Centre at Llangefni. By the end of this year, it is anticipated that this figure will increase significantly, with a further £200,000 allocated to install additional solar arrays at the Rhyl and Rhos-on-Sea campuses.
Kath Coughlin, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Executive Director Corporate Finance said: “Given the huge challenges that we’re all facing due to climate change, we take very seriously our responsibility to manage and maintain our facilities in a way that minimises our carbon footprint.
“The use of photovoltaic cells is an important part of our strategy to become more energy efficient. It’s very encouraging to see how quickly the installation at our Rhos campus has translated into real environmental benefits, helping us to further improve the performance of our estate.
“Our plan now is to optimise these solar arrays and create additional large scale arrays on existing buildings.”
The use of solar voltaic energy is one of many initiatives rolled out by Grŵp Llandrillo Menai to minimise its environmental impact.
Kath explained: “There are many areas where we are taking action to address environmental issues. For example, we’ve launched a phased programme to install electric car charging points across our campuses, with the first ones recently installed at Llangefni and Rhos-on-Sea.
“We also have initiatives to upgrade lighting through the introduction of energy efficient LED bulbs, as well as projects relating to water usage, materials consumption and recycling.
“We’re committed to making sustainability, environmental best practice and global citizenship part of every aspect of College life.
“Alongside these practical measures, a key part of our efforts is to raise awareness and understanding among all our staff and students of environmental and sustainability issues, both local and global. And, most importantly, to constantly reinforce the message that we all have a role to play in reducing our impact on the environment.”