College puts energy into solar plans

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JEWEL & Esk College has unveiled plans to create a solar power site at its Midlothian campus.

The one-acre site will be transformed into a large-scale solar energy generator with between 700 and 800 solar panels positioned to maximise the sun’s rays.

The “Solar Meadow” – so-called because it will also be planted with biodiversity grasses and wildflowers – will be the first of its kind in Scotland.

The panels will generate around 1076KW of energy each day, enough electricity for the college’s Midlothian campus to be self-sufficient.

Surplus electricity will be made available to local community groups and projects, reducing their energy costs.

The project will cost £300,000 and will save the college around £150,000 per year in electricity bills.

Professor Steve Tinsley, energy expert and director of innovation and enterprise at Jewel & Esk, said: “This is a tremendously exciting project for us. In creating the Solar Meadow, we are providing the first teaching facility of its kind in Scotland.”