MidKent College to roll out £11m green retrofit to its campuses in Maidstone and Gillingham

MidKent College says it is on track to become “the greenest college in Britain” with plans to shift its Maidstone and Medway sites entirely off gas within the next year.

Its fuel-based heating system on both campuses will be replaced with power generated by renewable energy heat pumps and solar panels, among other greener sources.

The deal is signed with the contractors and consultants with college staff
The deal is signed with the contractors and consultants with college staff

The £11 million scheme is being primarily funded through the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. The principal contractor for the work is project and facilities management firm CBRE.

The final sign-off on the ambitious green energy ‘retrofit’ comes after two years of planning with innovative sustainability specialists the HI Group.

It will enable the college to transition both sites entirely off gas - with the exception of the need for teaching purposes such as science lessons - for its energy needs by March 2025.

The Nottinghamshire-based HI Group has conducted environmental audits encompassing energy and water supply across both sites.

The results will see the electrification of heating via installation of renewable electricity-powered heat pumps, on-site renewable power generation through extensive solar panels systems, the installation of a new hot water system and even a solar-powered car port which will be one of the largest arrays of its type in the UK.

MidKent College’s Medway campus in Gillingham
MidKent College’s Medway campus in Gillingham

HI Group’s previous work at Gloucestershire College saw a 70% reduction in greenhouse gases in the first 12 months of its switch to green energy.

Martin Peat, executive director of finance and estates at MidKent, explains: “HI Group and CBRE’s appointments mark a pivotal step towards realising our ambitious vision of sustainable campuses.

“Together, we’re poised to lead by example in creating environmentally conscious educational spaces for generations to come.”

Laura Bishop, director and co-founder at HI Group, added: “Our work with the college, including a comprehensive environmental audit and the development of a robust 20-year economic model, demonstrates that environmental responsibility can align seamlessly with economic viability.”

Work is expected to begin in June.

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