Anglia Ruskin University signs £50m wind farm deal
Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has signed an agreement to source electricity directly from onshore wind farms as it steps up its efforts to become fully carbon neutral by 2030.
Having declared a climate emergency last month, ARU is now one of 20 UK universities to sign the aggregated Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to buy £50 million of renewable energy from a portfolio of UK wind farms managed by Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy.
The groundbreaking deal, which will see wind power delivered to ARU along with Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO), fixes power prices at a competitive rate for the next 10 years. This helps the 20 universities avoid market volatility at the same time as reducing their carbon footprint.
James Rolfe, chief operating officer at ARU, said: “ARU has joined with other universities and organisations across the UK in declaring a climate emergency and we’ve increased our level of ambition aiming to become climate neutral by 2030.
“To support this commitment we aim to source all of our electricity from zero carbon sources by 2025, and this Power Purchase Agreement makes a significant contribution towards this goal whilst delivering financial savings and budget stability.”
Last year ARU became only the 10th UK university to sign the fossil fuel declaration, a partnership between the National Union of Students and People & Planet. pledging not to invest in extractor fossil fuel companies now or in the future.
ARU carries out world-leading research to help develop practical solutions to many of the underlying issues surrounding climate change.
The Global Sustainability Institute, which also runs ARU’s successful Master’s degree in Sustainability in conjunction with the Eden Project, is engaged in research to find solutions to problems caused by growth, resource constraints and consumption, helping the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Led by the Education for Sustainability team, sustainability is embedded across the curriculum at ARU. The aim is to equip all students, regardless of the course they are studying, with the skills and knowledge to help them become responsible global citizens.
At a practical level, ARU’s Environment Team works to ensure the university estate and operations function as sustainably as possible. Their actions range from making sure buildings meet the highest possible environmental standards to help reduce energy consumption, to encouraging staff and students to consider greener transport alternatives.