Vital Energi to install biomass heat at UK campus

By University of Northampton | October 13, 2016

The University of Northampton’s new Waterside Campus will use sustainable technology for heat while dramatically reducing its CO2 output.

The University has employed sustainable energy experts Vital Energi to deliver the energy solutions for its new Waterside campus, opening in 2018.

The contract will see Vital Energi deliver an energy center which will use woodchip biomass and gas to heat hot water for all the buildings and student residencies on the 58 acre site while saving over 1,000 tons of CO2 in the short term, rising to 2,200 tons a year following the introduction of a combined-heat- and-power (CHP) engine—the equivalent of taking 431 cars off the road per annum.

The energy strategy has been designed to evolve alongside the development of the campus and the energy center has been “future proofed” to allow for the installation of the CHP engine, which will produce additional heat and electricity as demand increases.

Vital Energi Regional Director Mike Cooke commented, “By specifying a biomass district heating system for the new Waterside Campus the University of Northampton are setting a great example for the Higher Education sector by demonstrating how renewable energy solutions can be implemented, reducing carbon emissions and integrating thermal storage to maximise the renewable heat incentive.  We are delighted to continue our relationship with the University and look forward to celebrating the arrival of their students to the new campus.”

The University’s Waterside Project Director Bob Griggs added, “The sustainability of the development at Waterside has always been one of our top concerns at the university and a key principle of the new development has been to minimize the energy demand and maximize the efficiency of energy use. We are delighted that Vital Energi will deliver this and are looking forward to welcoming students to Waterside in 2018.”

The Waterside Campus will have a fundamental positive impact on the town and its economy. It brings a 58 acre derelict site back to life and kick-starts development in Northampton’s Enterprise Zone embracing its riverside setting and creating an exciting new destination for Northampton.