Varndean College is a higher education facility on the edge of Brighton, which offers students a wide range of academic and vocational courses, as well as being the only state-funded college in the area to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

The college is situated near the top of Ditchling Road and the campus includes several large, pitched, south facing roofs, making this an ideal candidate for rooftop solar PV.

For this project, BHESCo have partnered with EcoSphere Renewables to support the delivery a 49.5kWp solar array.

Annual Project Savings




Cost Reduction


kWh Energy


Tonnes CO2

Lifetime Savings Of Project




Tonnes CO2


Year Lease

Project Delivery

A detailed survey of the campus was completed by our partners at EcoSphere Renewables, who concluded that the college could get a 180 panel, 49.5kW solar array on the roof of the property.

We would expect this system to generate 51,660kWh of renewable electricity each year, which will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions from Varndean College by 37 tonnes.

To put that into perspective, that’s the same amount of CO2 as would be emitted by 333 flights from Glasgow to Amsterdam.

An examination of the college’s energy bills for 2018 indicated there is enough energy demand on the site to consume nearly all of the electricity that will be produced by the solar panels (about 95%).

What this means is that the system will be incredibly efficient, with only a very small amount of electricity being exported to the National Grid.

This makes great financial sense because the cost of electricity is so high right now, at approximately 16p per kWh. Although this project qualifies for the Feed-In-Tariff and the Export Tariff (together worth approximately 9p per kWh of electricity exported to the National Grid) it is much more beneficial for the College to use the electricity as it is generated (i.e. saving 17p per kWh by not purchasing it from a supplier).

The new solar array will be installed over the course of the summer holidays and will be operational for the beginning of the Autumn Term 2019.

Equipment Installed

180 JA Solar PV Panels (49.5kWp)

Three Phase Solis Inverter

Project Location


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