Qcells and RenEnergy help Cranfield University, UK, achieve Net Zero targets

A disused 4,000 square metre plot at the campus of the UK’s Cranfield University has been transformed into an innovative energy saving hub, thanks to a government grant.

[Berlin, Germany, July 13, 2023] The project, now home to a 900 kW ground-mounted solar plant, is built by renewable energy developer RenEnergy using Qcells technology.

Damian Baker, Managing Director of RenEnergy said: “We have a long-standing relationship with Cranfield University, where we have designed and installed solutions since 2018 to support the university’s carbon and energy management goals.

“We partner with our clients, understanding their changing energy needs and aspirations over time, providing innovative solutions using world-class technology such as Qcells modules.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Cranfield University to build a brighter, more sustainable future for the university and future generations.”

The car park project means the Cranfield University campus, located between Milton Keynes and Bedford, will deliver CO₂ emission savings of an estimated 377,421 kg/year, aiding the University’s goals to tackle climate change and take greater control of its energy independence.

Cranfield has ambitious climate targets to meet net zero by 2030. It has been awarded £16.3m across two successful bids from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which is initiated by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and delivered by Salix Finance.

Renewable energy developer RenEnergy specialises in solar photovoltaics (PV) and energy storage.

Qcells manufactures solar cells and modules with a portfolio of intelligent storage systems, and offers a growing international pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects.

Ross Kent, Head of Sales UK, Ireland and Scandinavia for Qcells, said: “The addition of a close-to 1 MW solar array at one of the UK’s leading higher education institutes is another encouraging step along the road to decarbonisation.

“Our hope is that the sight of this solar array can inspire Cranfield University’s students on a daily basis, and ultimately help accelerate the UK’s transition to a greener future.

“We applaud Cranfield University and our partners RenEnergy for having the ambition to execute such a bold project on land previously carved out for cars and that had fallen into disuse.”

Gareth Ellis, Energy & Environment Manager at Cranfield University, added: “This is a fantastic project well executed by RenEnergy who once again provided an optimal solution to some unusual site constraints.”

Director of Programmes at Salix Finance Ian Rodger said: “We are delighted that an unused plot of land can be turned into an innovative project which should ultimately produce carbon savings. “Cranfield is working hard to create a more sustainable future for generations to come and we are delighted to be part of the Cranfield decarbonization journey.”

NOTES TO EDITOR: Cranfield University: a specialist postgraduate university globally renowned for applied research and innovative education in science, technology, engineering and management. The University has been reducing carbon emissions since 2010 and committed to a set of ambitious new targets including Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

Carpark project: Installing panels on a surface such as tarmac poses unique challenges, so RenEnergy had bespoke steel frames developed for the ballasted ground array. This is an east/west oriented array, much less common than a south facing array, which reduced the amount of concrete ballast required to hold the array down, therefore reducing costs, timeframe, and embedded carbon of the system. An east/west array allows us to install up to 80% more capacity on the same area compared to a south facing array, so it is a good option for high usage sites with limited space.

Technology: RenEnergy selected Qcells Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G9 modules. Their all-black appearance assimilate smoothly into their surroundings on campus, with each module’s 350 Wp maximum power output packing in high density PV power across the site. Made using Qcells’ proprietary Q.ANTUM DUO Z technology, the Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G9 is an ultra-reliable module that delivers an overall efficiency of up to 20.6%. With its zero-gap layout, anti-LID, anti-PID and anti-LeTID performance, this is a module designed to deliver for decades with minimal fuss and maximum output. The Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G9 was also among the first in the industry to pass TÜV Rheinland’s stringent new Quality Controlled PV (QCPV) certification program.

About Qcells

Qcells is recognized for its reputation as a manufacturer of high-performance, high-quality solar cells and modules, portfolio of intelligent storage systems, and growing international pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects. Qcells also provides renewable electricity retail services and packages to end customers the world over. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea (Global Executive HQ) and Thalheim, Germany (Technology & Innovation HQ) with its diverse international manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Malaysia, China, and South Korea. Qcells offers Completely Clean Energy through the full spectrum of photovoltaic products, storage solutions, renewable electricity contracting and large-scale solar power plants. Through its growing global business network spanning Europe, North America, Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East, Qcells provides excellent services and long-term partnerships to its customers in the utility, commercial, governmental and residential markets. For more information, visit: www.q-cells.eu 

About RenEnergy

RenEnergy is a boutique, knowledge-based, international renewable energy business, principally focused on the application of solar photovoltaics (PV) and energy storage. Primary trading territories are the United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa (SA), from where it consults on, design and deliver innovative renewable solar PV solutions to clients around the world. Since 2006, it has been passionate pioneers in renewable energy, and unwavering advocates for the environmental and value benefits that solar PV and energy storage can deliver. For more information, visit: www.renenergy.co.uk. RenEnergy installed more than 2,500 Qcells Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G9 solar modules at the 4,428 square metre plot at Cranfield University.

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Hanwha Qcells GmbH
Corporate Communications
Oliver Beckel, Ian Clover
Tel: +49 (0)3494 6699 10121
E-mail: presse@q-cells.com