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Harper Adams Wins Regional Award of Excellence for Fighting Climate Change

Posted 21 June 2007

Bob Talbot and Scott Kirby with the BiTC Award

Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, is proud to announce that it is a regional winner of the Man Group International Climate Change Award at the prestigious Business in the Community Awards for Excellence 2007. It is the only higher education institution to be honoured with an award and will represent the West Midlands at the national finals.

The Awards for Excellence, which are now in their 10th year, are the most influential awards recognising the most inspiring examples of responsible business in the market place, workplace, environment and community within the UK.

The University College, which is the UK’s largest specialist provider of land-based higher education, has been recognised and commended for its commitment to tackling the problem of climate change through its work in rural environmental sustainability. One of its most successful initiatives has been the development and installation of a prototype biomass generator in partnership with Stafford-based Talbott’s Heating Ltd.

The novel system is capable of producing 100kW of renewable electricity and 200kW of heat from the combustion of biomass. It can provide Harper Adams with 25% of the University College’s electricity and 50% of the heat required at a major cluster of buildings, saving over 14% of the purchased energy costs and an estimated 648t CO2 per year.

The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generator is the first system in the world to incorporate an indirectly fired micro-air turbine. It has been demonstrated to over 3,000 people, including Government Ministers, members of the UK Biomass Task Force, owners of land-based businesses, representatives of planning authorities and organisations where this technology could be implemented.  Since then, new orders for the system have been placed, which has enabled Talbott’s to invest in the development of the generators and could lead to this advanced system being installed across the UK and Europe. Two units are currently in production for export to Switzerland and Italy. The generator is designed for rural and urban settings and is ideal for installation on farms, large estates and public buildings.

The University College’s Principal, Professor Wynne Jones says “Harper Adams is at the forefront of implementing and producing biomass as a renewable energy, in a close working relationship with Talbott’s Heating. Biomass energy production has many challenges, but we have shown how it can be successfully used and have demonstrated to businesses, policy makers and other influential figures that it can provide a viable alternative to fossil fuels.”

Harper Adams University College, Talbott’s Heating Ltd and supporting partners received the award at a celebratory presentation event on Wednesday 20th June at Himley Park, Dudley.

Representatives of the University College will join regional award winners at an exclusive Gala Dinner in London on Monday 2nd July, where the national finalist awards will be presented by HRH The Prince of Wales and former US Vice President, Al Gore. Harper Adams University College will join five major companies to compete to become overall winners of this prestigious national award. The other finalists in the Man Group International Climate Change category are; Barclays, BSkyB, B&Q, Lafarge and Tesco.
Further details can be viewed at: www.cfri.co.uk,  www.talbotts.co.ukwww.bitc.org.uk

·   Harper Adams is the only specialist higher education institution to gain recognition under the Carbon Trust energy efficiency Accreditation Scheme.
·   The Biomass Scheme has been led by a multidisciplinary team comprising David Llewellyn Director of Corporate Affairs, Scott Kirby Farm Manager, Paul Moran Estates and Facilities Manager and Dr. Andrea Humphries Business Development Manager, Sustainable Technologies Network.  This team, in partnership with Bob Talbott of Talbott’s Engineering, has shaped the implementation of the project.
·   The University College has adopted a variety of methods to tackle climate change, including the Biomass Generator. Other initiatives include:
o  The radically designed Bamford Library which incorporates a natural ventilation system, rainwater harvesting and the use of a structural timber frame. It demonstrates the use of renewable technologies and natural materials in large-scale construction projects. This was a runner-up award winner in the ICE West Midlands Sustainability Awards 2005.
o  The installation of a novel photovoltaic array of 432 Marley Solartiles on a new halls of residence. This is the third largest installation in the UK.
o  A modern slurry storage and management system has been installed at Harper Adams that demonstrates best practice in waste management and utilisation.
·   The Biomass Unit was financed by the University College and Talbott’s Heating Ltd with grant assistance from the DTI and HEFCE.

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