University of Manchester Partners with 58 GWh Medebridge Solar Farm to Meet 65% of Campus Energy Demands

May 14, 2024
Located in Medebridge, Essex, the solar farm will span 175 acres of low-grade agricultural land and comprise 104,000 solar panels

To advance its goal of being zero-carbon by 2038, the University of Manchester has agreed to purchase enough energy generated by Enviromena’s new solar farm – the Medebridge Solar Farm – to cover up to 65% of the University’s electricity demand.

Located in Medebridge, Essex, the solar farm will span 175 acres of low-grade agricultural land and comprise 104,000 solar panels. Enviromena will also enhance the existing hedgerows and plant native grassland and wildflower meadow beneath and around the solar arrays to encourage wildlife nesting opportunities and improve habitat connectivity.

Under the Corporate Power Purchase Agreement between the partners, the University has committed to purchasing 80% of Medebridge’s 58 GWh total annual generation capacity for the next 10 years. This investment is projected to reduce the University’s carbon emissions by 12,000 tons annually – the equivalent of powering 21,000 homes.

“After nearly three years of rigorous procurement and negotiations, we are proud to announce this landmark agreement, which reinforces our commitment to sustainability whilst delivering the best value to our students and stakeholders in the form of price certainty and supply stability,” said Lee Barlow, Project Lead at the University of Manchester.

This solar project and energy purchase agreement will also help the University reach its goal of reducing the carbon intensity of its investments by 37%, which follows shortly after its decision in 2022 to end its investments in coal, oil, and gas.

The Medebridge Solar Farm is currently under construction and is expected to be energized by Q3 2025.