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NWSLC’s Nuneaton campus harvests solar power for green benefits

Solar Panels on a college

More than 500 solar panels installed on the roofs of college buildings at the North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) Nuneaton Campus have started to harvest energy from the sun that will deliver a significant reduction in energy costs. Set to generate around 300,000 watts per year, the panels were activated for the first time over Easter.

The solar panels cover more than 1,300m² of roof space and are installed on the college’s three main buildings at the Hinckley Road facility including the sports hall. Installed by fabrication specialists Alternative Heat and funded from a £3m government-backed decarbonisation grant, the panels will deliver a carbon emission reduction of 11.5 tonnes each year contributing to Net Zero and carbon neutral goals.

David Poole, Chief Operating Officer for NWSLC said,

“Climate change is recognised by our students as one of their biggest concerns for the future and we take our commitment to addressing this issue very seriously. The college is making its contribution to the drive for Net Zero by implementing a cross-college sustainability strategy and decarbonisation plan which will help our campuses to eventually to become carbon neutral.

“Going live with our solar panels installation at Nuneaton Campus is a major step on this journey and will also help us enormously to reduce our energy costs. Our overall aims include reducing utility costs by 25 per cent by 2025.

“In addition to harnessing clean energy, the college has also used grant funding to install replacement windows, LED lights, and improved insulation, and works are underway to construct an air source heat pump at Nuneaton Campus. The solar panel switch-on marks an important milestone in our sustainability journey.”

Last year, the college was named as a finalist in the Climate Action category of the Green Gown Awards which recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges.

Earlier this month, the college announced the establishment of a Green Strategic Group to bring together best practices from across the college and external partners to ensure that NWSLC continues to lead on becoming increasingly sustainable through its curriculum offer and the delivery of teaching, learning and assessment, estates, facilities, and community impact.

Members of the group will function as green champions working together to motivate staff and students and raise the profile of green initiatives and sustainability within the college. The group will monitor and evaluate the impact that NWSLC achieves on its sustainability journey and help to deliver the objectives of the Sustainability Futures Partnership as part of our membership of the Colleges West Midlands group.

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