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26,000 solar panels to be installed on Keele University fields

26,000 solar panels are to be installed next to Keele University's campus.

It has been granted planning permission for a sustainability scheme, which will see the solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels installed at ground level in fields on the edge of the campus, along with two wind turbines.

They will power Keele’s halls of residence, the chapel, teaching facilities, and Keele Hall.

It forms part of work taking place to achieve its ambitious pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030. 

The development will also be a part of the infrastructure required to support Keele’s Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) initiative to transform the campus into a unique testing site for the evaluation of new and evolving renewable and low carbon energy technologies, along with the reduction of CO2 emissions.

For a third successive year, Keele has been ranked in the global Top 20 for sustainability in the latest UI Green Metric rankings.

Phil Butters, Director of Estates and Development at Keele University, said: “There is an important relationship between our new development and the challenges of climate change. Keele’s sustainability scheme will enable the University to be self-sufficient in electricity consumption - all of which will be delivered from renewable sources.

“At a very micro-level, our planned programme of 20 new charging points for electric vehicles will also be using energy generated from the infrastructure and we are working to ensure that all new campus developments demonstrate high standards of sustainability.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost Professor Mark Ormerod said: “This is a hugely exciting development for Keele and will allow us to very significantly reduce our carbon emissions and energy costs, furthering our sector-leading commitment to sustainability and carbon reduction.

"It will support Keele in its ambitious plans to be carbon neutral by 2030 and deliver better energy management, a significant reduction in energy waste and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.”

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