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University given major grant to go greener

Plymouth University has been handed more than £500,000 to go greener, the Plymouth Herald has reported.

The grant, from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), will enhance the use of renewable energy in its campus buildings, including the Charles Seale-Hayne Library and the Students’ Union building.

It will complement the University’s existing green initiatives, which saw it come second in the 2013 People & Planet Green League and named in the top five of the global UI Greenmetrics rankings.

Simon Denham, head of procurement and sustainability at the university, said: “At Plymouth, we are proud of our commitment to sustainability and know our pioneering and innovative approach is welcomed by both staff and students.

“This funding will enable us to increase our use of renewable energy on campus, as part of our wider commitment to be a national champion in this area.”

The investment of £564,940 will see the installation of a solar thermal system to be used in combination with a combined heat and power plant to produce low-carbon domestic hot water.

The system will replace local electric water heaters and there will also be a significant upgrade of the heating and hot water systems in the library and Students’ Union buildings to maximise the savings made.

HEFCE deputy chief executive Steve Egan said: “The scheme at Plymouth University uses solar and improved traditional heating methods to reduce the university’s carbon footprint and reduce costs.”

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