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Duryard PV Solar Panels project

The University of Exeter is proposing to install ground mounted Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on University land close to Duryard Halls of Residence, adjacent the end of Cherry Tree Close and Woodleigh Close.

Reducing reliance on fossil fuels is playing a crucial role in the institution reaching its target of Carbon Net Zero by 2030 and supports the University’s ambition in Strategy 2030 to lead meaningful action against the climate emergency. 

A public consultation on the proposal took place between Monday 14 November 2022 and  Sunday 20 November 2022.

Following the public consultation we intend to submit a planning application to Exeter City Council.

Images and location map:

Key facts

  • The proposal is to install approximately 2000 solar panels on the field near Duryard Halls of Residence.
  • The solar panels will be installed on approximately a third of the northern field.
  • The panels at the top of the field will be angled to minimise their height.
  • There will potentially be a permitted access route on the perimeter of the field.
  • The solar panels will be fenced off.
  • Field trees will be protected and enhancements to the biodiversity of the site are proposed through a variety of ecological improvement measures.
  • To reduce the University’s reliance on fossil fuels and to support our ambition to be Net Zero by 2030.
  • The proposed solar panels will generate in the region of 950,000kWh/year (approx. 200 domestic houses equivalent), saving 202 tonnes CO2/year, which represents a significant contribution towards reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, and supports our contribution to Exeter City Futures and Devon Carbon Plan targets.  
  • The University is reviewing its estate with a view to expand the generation of renewable energy.
  • The land proposed for the solar panels is south facing and an ideal slope to maximise the amount of solar energy that can be generated.
  • We expect the installation of the solar panels to take up approximately a third of the northern field.
  • The panels at the top of the field will be angled to minimise their height.
  • Our ecology consultant has surveyed the area and is providing advice on how we can minimise our impact on wildlife species and biodiversity in the area. As part of the plans we will look to enhance the area by planting new trees (including orchard trees), cultivating local plant species, seeding the open part of the field and protecting the existing trees. 
  • A small electrical substation will be installed in the south east corner of the northern field to connect the solar panels directly in to the University’s campus electrical system.
  • The land is owned by the University of Exeter.
  • There will potentially be a permitted access route on the perimeter of the field.
  • The solar panels will be fenced off.
  • We are considering a number of options to gain vehicular access to the field, including potentially creating a temporary bridge across the stream at the southern end of the northern field.
  • All aspects of the construction will be carefully managed to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum for our neighbours, students and colleagues.
  • We expect the installation of the solar panels to take 8 to 12 weeks and to cause minimal disruption to the local community. This is dependent on the weather and other factors.

Public consultation

a public consultation on the proposals took place in November 2022 and all of the comments are being considered as part of the University’s preparation of a planning application.

If you have any questions or queries about the proposal please email the project team at: campusdevelopment@exeter.ac.uk

Contact us

If you have any questions or queries about the proposal please email the project team at: campusdevelopment@exeter.ac.uk