New solar energy project introduces concept of UK eco-prisons

Gov Facility Services Limited (GFSL) has led two pioneering solar energy projects that have provided prisons in the south of England with environmentally friendly upgrades to reduce carbon emissions by more than 2,300 tonnes and introduce the concept of eco-prisons in the UK.

At Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Bure, Norfolk, GFSL is aiming to reduce reliance on the existing electric load by 17% and save 79 tonnes of CO2 per year with the installation of rooftop solar panels, which are  due to be in place by the end of March 2021. A second project is under way in Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire. Scheduled for completion in July, the project will use ground based solar panels to increase its use of renewable energy.

GFSL Energy Services Manager Stewart Grew, explained: “This is a prime example of using clean energy to create ‘eco-prisons’ and not just meet, but exceed the Ministry of Justice’s carbon reduction targets by 2025. We also have other interesting projects in the pipeline like an LED lighting replacement programme and the installation of heat pumps and biomass boilers.”

GFSL has also launched a project to upgrade the existing lighting in HMP Elmley to high efficiency LED fittings, saving the Ministry of Justice £115,000 and 183 tonnes of CO2 annually.

This energy saving initiative is running alongside another project in which GFSL is working with the Ministry of Justice to install nearly 5,560 new cell light fittings across 20 sites by March 2021. This wider partnership project will reduce operating costs over the 20 sites by £121,000 a year, saving 750,000 kWhrs and 168 tonnes of CO2.

GFSL CEO Paul Ryder added: “We’re proud of all the innovation and hard work which goes into our transition to clean energy sources rolled out across all of the southern England sites. Not only are we exceeding our carbon emission targets, we’re also saving considerable sums of public money on maintenance budgets.”

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