press release
Published: 03 February 2022

University of Surrey and SSE Energy Solutions unveil partnership to drive up renewable energy generation from 0.1% to 20%

The University of Surrey has today (Thursday 3rd February 2022) announced a strategic partnership with SSE Energy Solutions that will dramatically increase the amount of energy it generates and uses from renewable sources.

The new partnership will significantly increase the on-site renewable energy generation from 0.1% to 20% of total annual demand – powering the University of Surrey towards its 2030 Net-Zero target. 

SSE Energy Solutions has been appointed as the preferred partner to design, build, operate, and maintain a significant new solar facility for the University.

The partnership with SSE is also looking at a solution for decarbonising heat, and the University has made an application to the UK Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme for funding to support this part of the plan.

The partnership will also encompass a new research partnership focused on creating new PhD and studentship opportunities alongside joint applications for grant funding and collaboration to deliver on-site demonstrator projects.

The University announced its Net-Zero carbon target and plan in January 2020. Surrey was one of the first universities in the sector to use the science-based emissions methodology to establish its fair share of emissions reductions to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

This partnership will be essential to driving up the proportion of renewable energy generated on campus. Alongside this, The University continues to reduce its demand for energy whilst purchasing an increasing proportion of its power from certificated renewable energy assets located in the UK.

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said:

“This partnership is a landmark moment for the University of Surrey as it underpins our ambition to achieve our net zero carbon target by 2030 and affirms our commitment to being one of the most sustainable universities in the sector. This exciting partnership with SSE Energy Solutions, together with our other initiatives in sustainability, enables us to make ever greater contributions to our already strong performance against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  This performance contributes to our proud 61st position in the Times Higher Education’s global Impact Ranking 2021.”

Nathan Sanders, Managing Director of SSE Energy Solutions (Distributed Energy), said:

“This is a partnership we are very proud of as we are keen to help do all we can to decarbonise the university sector. We intend to provide the University of Surrey with a more resilient and sustainable energy system and with our ‘whole system approach’ we are looking at a cross-campus range of other energy solutions including how we might also help decarbonise their heat to cut both carbon and cost.”

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