EDINBURGH University is to spend £11 million installing a new power system at one of its main campuses to produce more of its own low-carbon energy.
Using combined heat and power (CHP) technology, which uses fuel efficiently to produce electricity and heat at the same time, it will reduce emissions by an extra 2000 tonnes annually.
The system will be installed at the Easter Bush campus, providing energy for the Roslin Institute and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, by spring next year.
The university has already invested more than £20m in low-carbon energy, reducing CO2 emissions by almost 10,000 tonnes annually.
Dave Gorman, the university’s director of social responsibility and sustainability, said: “I’m very pleased to see this further investment by the university in Scotland’s transition to a more sustainable energy system.
“The university has been a leader in low-carbon energy, in large part because of the dedication and expertise of our estates staff.
“With the added support of our Easter Bush colleagues, this is another important milestone towards low-carbon, cost-effective energy for the university.”
The university’s plans were backed by city Green politicians.
Councillor Gavin Corbett said: “The university has been a pioneer in new energy technology for some time now and this new venture shows that it is both good for the planet and good for the budget.
“As the announcement acknowledges, the university still has some way to go to get out of the dirty and outdated fossil fuel industry altogether, but it shows that student campaigns to reduce investment in the most polluting industries have had some impact and I expect that to continue.
“The energy managers and the investment managers need to be talking to each other.”
In May last year, the university announced plans to divest from controversial fossil fuel companies.
Within weeks, it claimed to have removed £2.5m of direct investment from firms involved in the sectors of coal and tar sands.
The proportion of Edinburgh’s investment portfolio linked to fossil fuels has halved since 2013 and fallen by almost 90 per cent since 2008, according to a report by financial advisers Mercer.
A university spokesman said: “This announcement builds upon the university’s continuing commitment to make a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to Scotland, the UK and the world
“Edinburgh’s expertise in climate is world-leading. Its researchers have secured more than £50m over the past seven years to fund work on climate science, emissions mitigation and sustainable solutions.”