South West College has just installed a 20kW Solar Photovoltaic Panel System at the Burn Road Campus in Cookstown demonstrating further its commitment to sustainability. The system, installed by Future Renewables of Ballinamallard, Co Fermanagh, consists of Panasonic HIT high efficiency panels with an SMA inverter. It has the capacity to reduce the amount of electricity purchased from the grid by up to 15% annually.
As the production of electricity from Solar PV Panels does not produce any harmful emissions, this renewable source of electricity aligns with the College’s Environmental policy as a carbon reduction measure. Also, it further reduces its dependency on electricity generated from fossil fuels and the associated exposure to price increases. Solar panels only require daylight to start generating electricity and they will even be able to produce electricity on overcast days. This means that they are suitable for our occasionally sunny weather in Northern Ireland.
South West College has a growing reputation for its commitment to sustainability with a variety of initiatives in place across all five College Campuses involving energy, water, waste management and sustainable transport. The implementation of these initiatives at SWC is helping to reduce the college carbon emissions and thus its environmental impacts.
Describing the College’s forward thinking approach to sustainability, Terence Cosgrove, the College Environmental & Sustainability Officer, told us: “Our commitment to environmental sustainability incorporates a desire to reduce our impact on our natural environment by reducing our carbon emissions from energy consumption and by reducing waste.”
Terence continued “Socially, we aim to provide the region with meaningful education programmes while also providing sustainable employment in the region either directly or through our suppliers. From an economic perspective, our targeted growth through our research and development programmes as well as our financial responsibility and resource efficiency will ensure we thrive as an organisation into the future.”
Other recent initiatives include the purchase of a new low carbon minibus from Ashwoods UK. The bus is a hybrid type vehicle, which is an effective combination of both diesel and electric power and has the ability to capture kinetic energy normally wasted during deceleration and to use this energy to assist the vehicle during periods of acceleration, therefore no plug-in charging is required.
For further information on future initiatives, keep an eye on www.swc.ac.uk and also our Facebook posts and Twitter feed.