McGill helps Dundee College meet its Sustainability Target

McGill helps Dundee College meet its Sustainability Target

McGill has assisted Dundee College to achieve one of its sustainability targets in only one year instead of five!

As part of the Universities and Colleges Climate Commitment for Scotland action plan, Dundee College, along with other FE and HE organisations, pledged a 25% reduction in carbon footprint over five years, as the college estate was developed.

Taking 2010-11 as the baseline year, Dundee College actually achieved a 25% reduction in first year.

McGill installed 400 solar photovoltaic panels to the roof of the Food Trades building at the Kingsway Campus which when built three years ago, also included a rainwater harvesting system. This project, visible from the Kingsway, cost a cool £130,000 but it is set to significantly reduce the college’s energy usage and costs.

McGill also installed the rainwater harvesting system three years ago and for the solar project, were competing against 46 other tenders from organisations across the UK.

“Payback is important when looking at a sustainable project – in this instance we are looking at between six and seven years and the development has paid for itself,” said Billy Grace, Head of Building and Estates at Dundee College.

“Solar panel technology is evolving all the time and while direct sunlight produces the best results, its performance in cloudy conditions has improved greatly.

“We have installed the highest quality panels on the market at present which should yield about 90,000 kilowatt hours of energy each year – enough to power The Space theatre and dance facility.”

While Billy remains convinced that there are further reductions to be made in terms of the college’s carbon footprint in future he is also delighted to see that this latest innovation offers real training opportunities for students on the college’s sustainable industries courses who have already been studying the new installation.

McGill also offered work experience opportunities for two Renewable Energy students at Dundee College during the installation, giving them the unusual opportunity to work on a project at their own College where they will benefit from the energy and cost saving measures.

Nick McGill, Operations Director Small Contracts, commented, “As a local company we were delighted to win such a prestigious contract at Dundee College, particularly against such wide competition.

“We have established a strong relationship with Dundee College over the last 25 years with many of our apprentices training with them.

“It is encouraging to see companies embracing large scale solar projects and demonstrates that there is still financial as well as energy savings to be had for both domestic and commercial projects, despite the reduction in the feed-in tariff by the Government.” 

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