Image of a wind turbine against an evening sky

Energy and Carbon

We've taken a socially responsible approach to our energy efficiency in the past and already have a strong infrastructure of sustainable facilities to build upon.

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ܽƵ Wind Turbine

Generating between 4,000,000 and 5,000,000 kWh of electricity and catering for around 14% of the University's electricity consumption each year, the wind turbine has produced enough electricity to power over 1200 homes for a year.

Installed in November 2012 at a cost of ?3.5Million, the turbine was expected to produce between 13 and 16% of Lancaster's annual electricity consumption (depending on average wind speeds). The turbine has reduced University carbon emissions by 1,000-2,200tCO2e each year since installation.

The turbine is operated from Germany and monitored by a partner company who provide us with regular data about its performance. Alongside this, the University's Building Management System (BMS) provides more insight into the savings that we have been able to make. The Environmental Management Team monitor our performance around carbon emissions using this information.

The turbine was recently maintained and underwent some repair works which took around two weeks to carry out. The works required the blades to be removed via a crane and the bearings within the turbine to be replaced. This was the first major maintenance required since it was installed. The low maintenance nature of a wind turbine means the energy production is steady and reliable. The University has explored a second Wind Turbine but has not been successful in obtaining planning permission yet.

wind turbine close up

Combined Heat and Power Engine

The Combined Heat and Power Engine (CHP) is a gas fired engine that produces heat and electricity. It's used to power and heat student residences, lecture theatres and offices across campus.

Installed in 2012, the CHP generates 2.2MW of heat and 1.9MW of electricity per year, whilst producing around half as many carbon emissions than taking electricity directly from the grid, making it both an efficient and cost effective source of power.

Typically the engine supplies around 25-40% of the University's annual electricity consumption.

The CHP is shut down between June and September every year to facilitate vital inspections and maintenance works.

Biomass Boiler

The Biomass Boiler burns organic material such as locally sourced wood chips to generate heat, which is then fed into the University’s district heating system.

Currently, the boiler supplies around 2-3% of the total heat demand on campus each year. The 1MW output boiler was installed in 2013 as part of the construction of our dedicated Energy Centre and reduces carbon emissions by approximately 230tCO2e per annum.

The wood chips that fuel the boiler are sourced from local commercial forests within 30 miles of the University. These forests are replanted following harvesting and managed on a long term sustainable basis.

Like with the CHP engine, the Biomass boiler is shut down for maintenance during the summer, when heat demand is at its lowest.

Developing infrastructure

The University is planning to develop a solar PV farm comprising of around 39,000 solar panels that will aim to produce all of the University's required energy when combined with our existing resources. Follow the project and have your say by clicking the link.

Solar Farm
Architects Impressions on Solar Panels on Forrest Hills
Architects impression of solar panels to be installed at Forrest Hills site.

Green energy investment

The University is set to virtually eliminate the use of gas for heating on its Bailrigg campus through the creation of a new Low Carbon Energy Centre following more than ?21 million of funding from the Governments Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF).

The Centre will use air source heat pumps, thermal storage and electrical infrastructure to create an innovative heat network providing 45 GWh of low carbon heat, which will be sufficient to provide heating and hot water for nearly the entire campus.

Lancaster campus