Solar Panels were installed on top of King’s Gate on the 25th of August.
Newcastle University’s Sustainability Team announced the installation of solar panels as part of their pilot Solar PV Project to “assess the feasibility of a campus-wide retrofit scheme”.
The installation suggests that the University plans on creating a large scale solar farm across campus. The panels would be added to the original structures of buildings in an attempt to make the University’s campus more environmentally friendly.
A Newcastle University spokesperson said: “The King’s Gate solar photovoltaic (PV) project includes the construction and commissioning of a new 230 panel, 94.3kWp solar array along with a state-of-the-art monitoring system (called SolarEdgeTM). This will provide on average approximately 10-15% of the building’s total annual electricity use, reaching as high as 25% during the summer peak.”
"This will provide, on average, approximately 10-15% of the building’s total annual electricity use, reaching as high as 25% during the summer peak.”Newcastle University spokesperson
In 2016 Newcastle University compromised “to embed the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations into its investment strategies.”
Energy is one of the eight themes that the Sustainability Team is focusing on, having also joined organisations both in the UK and internationally in declaring a climate emergency. The other focus points include carbon, waste, procurement, travel, biodiversity, water, ethical investment.
On April last year, the University’s Press Office issued a statement declaring a climate emergency, and explaining the University was committed “to further substantial progress in the de-carbonisation of its activities with the aim of achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2040.”
“To further substantial progress in the de-carbonisation of its activities with the aim of achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2040.”Press Office statement, April 2019
However, due to commercial sensitivity restrictions, the lasts Investment List dating of July 2019 is outdated. This report shows that Newcastle University is still investing in fossil fuels related businesses. These enterprises include Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Tullow Oil, Now Inc. (oilfield drilling equipment) and Apache (Oil exploitation and production).
A Newcastle University spokesperson said: “In April 2020 we fully divested our endowment funds from fossil fuel extraction companies. This was achieved through changes in strategy as well as active engagement with our fund managers.”