The project builds on the success of working with Brighton Energy Co-operative (BEC), a Brighton-based collective which builds community-funded solar systems across Sussex.
A total of 554 panels have now been installed across the two roofs of the Hillbrow Sports Centre and Robert Dodd Annexe buildings in Eastbourne, with a total capacity of just under 150kW. The panels will generate 150,000 kWh of electricity a year, enough to power 33 UK households, saving the university over £6,000 a year and cutting annual carbon emissions by 60 tonnes of CO2.
This installation has been made possible by a collaborate approach between the university and BEC, which has leased the airspace above the roofs for 20 years. BEC paid for the installation – its shareholders invest in renewable energy which finances the project. The university will pay BEC for the electricity generated by the panels, saving approximately one third of the price of grid electricity, providing security against fluctuating energy costs and reducing the university’s carbon footprint.