As Wales Climate Week comes to a close, we highlight the role of renewables in the public sector as a way to deliver on their commitment to decarbonisation.
Renewables can play an important role in the path towards decarbonisation and long-term net-zero goals. Below, we share successes from the past year, showcasing case study examples such as Coleg Cambria, a higher education college, and Coryton School (part of the Pear Tree Foundation) and their transitions to renewable technology.
Coleg Cambria, a further and higher education college in north east Wales have an ongoing commitment to incorporate sustainability whenever possible, and to reduce their impact on the environment.
Over the past year the college has installed a 110kw Solar PV system at their Yale site in Wrexham using Salix funding. The solar project has delivered substantial benefits to the organisation, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and providing a practical teaching aid relating to the use of renewable energy.
The Solar PV system is expected to generate 89,491 kwh each year and should save the college £18,515 whilst reducing carbon emissions by 24 tonnes per year. By utilising 100% of the energy produced on site, the college can reduce its demand on the National Grid and reduce its carbon footprint.
Rick Bedson, Head of Estates at the college, said: "As a college we are committed to a minimum of 3% year on year reduction of our carbon emissions."
"This solar PV project is just one of several projects aimed at reducing our consumption of electricity. Another 110kw solar PV system will become operational early in the New Year. Other related projects include converting areas of the college to LED lighting and extending smart metering. We will continue to apply for Salix funding to convert these projects into reality."
“The college will be contributing towards the Welsh public sector becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Plans exist for the creation of a solar field and the installation of both air and ground source heating systems and other projects focusing on waste reduction and increasing the number of electric vehicles.”
Niki Shuttleworth, Health Safety & Sustainability Officer at Coleg Cambria, added: "Each year we set challenging targets and it's only by involving both staff and students that we are able to achieve them."
Coryton Primary School
Coryton Primary School (part of the Pear Tree Federation), in Cardiff, is benefitting from a more sustainable energy source and have reduced their energy costs per pupil by over £15 per annum by installing rooftop Solar PV.
The project, which completed in January 2019, was implemented thanks to £26,761 of interest-free funding from Salix and is estimated to save the school £3,375 and over 6.7 tonnes of carbon a year.
In addition to the carbon and financial savings, pupils now benefit from being able to use the solar arrays as an educational resource to learn more about renewable energy and solutions to address climate change.
The energy produced from the project will help the school to reduce their electricity requirements by around 40% and produce cleaner energy that benefits the local and global environment.
Sally Phillips, Headteacher at Coryton Primary School, said: “The return on the installation financially is already above what we had expected. It promotes the message to our pupils and the school community about sustainable energy and the need for organisations to make big changes. We are absolutely delighted with both the product and the customer service we received to get to the point of the completed installation. I am not particularly technical but even I understood the process.”
To find out more about the Wales Funding Programme click here.