Dorchester’s renewable energy technology experts Futurum Ltd hosted an event at Kingston Maurward showcasing the installation of two solar systems on the College’s Animal Sciences building – the Coneygar Centre – and also the brand new Dorset Studio School building which was completed for the start of the new academic year.
Local businesses, staff and students studying the Level 1 Diploma in Construction Skills were invited to the breakfast event where there was an opportunity to view the two roof solar systems on a cherry picker and meet with staff from both Futurum and panel manufacturer Solarworld.
In 2014 49.5kW (200 solar panels) were installed on the Animal Sciences Building and a further 28 kW (112 panels) on the Dorset Studio School building.
The two installations will generate 78,370kWh of free electricity for the college each year for the next 20 years, a total of 1,567,400kWh. Calculated using the current rate of 15 pence per kWh the projected saving in electricity costs would be £235,110.
In addition to these savings the College will benefit from the government’s Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme which provides funding for domestic and commercial solar panel systems – the projected revenue from FiT over 20 years would be approximately £200k; a combined savings and FiT revenue of almost £450,000.
These solar panels follow the College’s existing reusable energy installations which include ground and air source heat pumps, light tubes, biomass heating and short rotation coppice for biomass heating – all contributing towards making the estate more efficient.
Construction student, Phoebe Coward, said: “It was really interesting speaking to Futurum – I learnt a lot about how the panels were made and the materials used. In future I want to get involved in missionary building projects abroad, so I’m very interested in sustainable energies.”
Solar panels remain an excellent way of producing on-site generated power and reducing business operating costs over their lifetime – which is expected to be more than 30 years.
For more information go to futurumltd.co.uk.