Education facility in Suffolk installs solar

The University and Professional Development Centre (UPDC) in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk has recently installed 500 kilowatts (kW) of rooftop solar, with support from West Suffolk Council.

The estates team at UPDC, part of the Eastern Education Group, sought to ensure that it could maximise use of the renewable energy generated by the rooftop array, with an energy storage system to capture the surplus solar. 

Energy storage specialists Connected Energy carried out a feasibility study to demonstrate the savings that the Group could make by adding an energy storage system to support the solar array.

Connected Energy recommended and installed one of its 300kW E-STOR units. The firm takes batteries from end-of-life electric vehicles and gives them a second life in its E-STOR energy storage systems. This means that E-STOR offers increases sustainability benefits compared to a system that uses new batteries. 

The Eastern Education Group, which provides further, higher and adult education services across the East of England, installed EV charge points across its estate, and is also in the process of replacing its carbon-fuelled fleet for energy efficient alternatives.

Andrew Swift, Group Director of Estates for Eastern Education Group, said: “Vehicles that utilise the charging stations at UPDC can do so in the knowledge that the power source to them is provided by renewable energy from the solar array and energy storage system.

“When energy prices escalated our bills increased threefold, so it became a priority to reduce them. West Suffolk Council supported us with the solar installation, as we wanted to optimise our use of renewable energy and the sustainability it would generate for the college. We were already informed of battery energy storage systems and approached Connected Energy to find the right solution for us.” 

“E-STOR enables us to store excess energy from the solar panels and draw down on it during peak periods of demand, rather than directly from the grid,” added Andrew. “Combined with the solar array we estimate that it will offer us considerable savings annually with our energy costs.” 

“If this installation works as well as we anticipate, we will look at installing further energy storage systems in tandem with rooftop solar arrays across the Group’s estate.”

Image courtesy of Connected Energy

Sign up for our essential
newsletter service.

Enter your details here.