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The University of Southampton

Minister opens University's new state-of-the-art combined heat and power energy system

Published: 18 July 2006

The Minister of State for Climate and the Environment, Ian Pearson MP, has formally opened the University of Southampton's new £3 million combined heat and power energy system.

The new system has two combined heat and power (CHP) generators each producing 1400kW of electricity and 1500 kW of heat. The generators feed into the University's high voltage electricity system and district heating system, both of which serve the Highfield Campus.

The new system will save 20 per cent (or 2300 tonnes) per year in carbon emissions. This will increase to 23 per cent when all buildings are connected. This coming year alone, the system will deliver a £300,000 saving on heating and power costs on the Highfield Campus.

Mark Turner, Energy and Design Engineer at the University, said: "We are delighted that the Minister was able to be here to open the new combined heat and energy system. The success of this system at the Highfield Campus shows that if large organisations like the University can find the funds to invest in state-of-the-art sustainable energy systems, we can make a huge difference to our carbon emissions as well as saving money in the long term."

Mr Pearson said: "It is vital that everybody gets involved in sustainable development. Climate change is the biggest long-term issue facing the world.

"The new system at the University of Southampton is an excellent example of a decentralised energy facility. Systems such as these will help us towards our goal of one planet living, making sure we use the world's finite resources effectively."

During his visit, the Minister also heard about the work of the University's Sustainable Energy Research Group, one of the UK's leading university-based research groups in renewable energy. The group's research encompasses photovoltaics, energy in buildings (including microgeneration) and marine current energy conversion studies.

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