The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh Utilities Supply Company

Executive Summary

Vital Energi’s CHP energy installation at the University of Edinburgh threw up more challenges than most, with archaeology and conservation issues and restricted access, but with those challenges overcome, the project is now saving the university money on its energy bills while lowering its CO₂ emissions.

  • stats-numerical
    £8m contract value
  • calendar
    12 weeks to construct watertight energy centre building
  • pipework
    4km of district heating pipework
  • reducing-carbon
    1,016 tonnes of CO2 reduction

Project Overview

The University of Edinburgh proved to be one of the most challenging projects Vital Energi had undertaken. The 431-year-old University brought with it a mix of conservation and heritage issues, extremely limited access and a hugely challenging timescale for completion of the project. This timescale was made even more difficult due to scheduled periods where work ceased to accommodate the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and student exams.

The energy centre houses one CHP 1.4MWe engine, a 100,000-litre thermal storage, two 9MW back-up/peak load gas boilers, High Voltage/Low Voltage switch-rooms and associated plant. The CHP engine will provide heat and hot water via a district heating network which involved approximately 4km of pipe connecting 13 sites and generating electricity for 14 buildings.

Our Solution

Edinburgh 7150
Solution detail

The system being installed is one of the best low carbon solutions we’ve found over the years and we can make significant savings, in terms of thousands of tonnes of carbon per year, and that is a major contribution to our overall targets. Vital have shown themselves to be flexible during the course of this project. There were several instances, such as during the exam period and the Edinburgh Fringe when some areas of work had to stop and Vital have had to work around it and through good planning and management they continued to meet the tight deadlines while causing as little disruption to the University and Edinburgh and its stakeholders.

David Barratt, Operations Manger, University of Edinburgh

Key Benefits

University of Edinburgh Utilities Supply Company

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