University of Derby promotes carbon footprint reduction with EV Charging Infrastructure across the institution

Executive Summary

At the University of Derby, we are pushing the boundaries of knowledge to create a better, fairer and more sustainable future for everyone. Our thriving community of researchers, professionals and practitioners are influencing the creation of new knowledge and sharing their expertise. Our students are learning in state-of-the-art facilities. And we are playing a key role in our communities in Derby and Derbyshire.

Their Vision

The University of Derby have it embedded within their belief that they must create an impact on the decarbonization of their estates making everything they do sustainable. The university is an integral part of the community, and they would like to have a strong positive influence on all environmental issues. They plan on doing this through their environment and sustainability plan to be NetZero by 2040.

What did the University do?

Through the initiative to be NetZero by 2040 many ideas were put into play by the University and a team was constructed to implement these plans, EV charging was one of these ideas. Tony Walkington (AIEMA) Logistics Manager for Uni of Derby stated that the idea of creating an EV Charging infrastructure had been identified before the initiative by one of Uni Estate managers, however it was difficult to gain traction on it initially. Through this initial revelation that EV Charging was already on the table it was quickly identified that there were zero charging facilities on site for staff and students alike and was declared that sustainable travel was a key part of the Universities decarbonisation programme, the objective to provide this amenity became a priority.
To start this journey to create an EV charging infrastructure Uni of Derby put together based on their current knowledge around EV charging and went out to procurement with this request, initially looking for consultancy advice. They utilised the NHS Shared Business Services platform and it was from this that Blink Charging UK (formerly EB Charging) was selected as the Charge Point Operator (CPO) for consultation and implementation of the project.

What did Blink Charging do?

When approached with the request from Uni of Derby for consultancy support, Blink reviewed it as a two-phased approach. Phase one consisted of the consultation request where all the restrictions and requirements put forward by the institute were addressed and presented back in a business case. Phase two went into further detail about the installation of the project and the right charger right place solution Blink believed would best address their scenario while allowing the infrastructure to grow with demand sustainably and environmentally, in line with the institute’s vision and mission statement.

The Challenge

When starting the project and initial consultation phase with the University of Derby it was clear that some restrictions would need to be addressed and this consisted of:
1. Insurance regulations – initial regulations had changed so these would need to be considered when building the project plan and designs.
2. Active Site – the site must continue with BAU and have no disruptions to the usage of any of the estate facilities including traffic flow and energy usage.
3. Car Parking facilities – the facilities and capacity could not change they had to stay the same.
4. Site requirements – some sites require extra work to support the energy capacity requirement how would this be managed and mitigated.
These were a few of the challenges faced and addressed within the Blink Solution Offering, the most impactful challenge was around the capital-funded model used for the project. This was budget-sensitive there were restrictions as to how much capital could be spent within the first year of installation. This led to Blink
proposing the following solution.

Blinks Solution

As part of the business case that was presented back to Uni of Derby, Blink proposed the installation of Four EVE Single Pro-line units across three pilot sites, Britannia Mill, Markeaton street, and the University’s Enterprise Centre. To ensure the utilisation of the chargers Blink proposed site surveys of each of the locations and from the outcome of these, the university would receive a detailed project plan covering the installation process, designs, bay restrictions and communication/engagement with the university and prospective charger users.

As the site was active and constantly in use Blink’s proposal also included how they would mitigate any problems around civil work so the site could continue with BAU which incorporated a similar strategy used across NHS estates. To ensure this Blink was involved in creating and communicating the work through bespoke signage and client engagement comms and in some instances, Blink Electrical Delivery Managers worked out of hours to ensure there were no disruptions and keep the project on schedule.

The Results

This is just the start of what the University would like to achieve as part of the wider decarbonization plan. Tony Walkington stated, “There is a plan to expand the EV Charging infrastructure across more sites as we want to continue to encourage the uptake of EV Chargers for our students, staff and in the long run to our facilities fleet too.”
Blink has supported in several ways to manage this expansion of the network which has covered looking at how to implement the changes at listed building sites, accessibility, ergonomics, type of chargers and finally methods of payment to potentially open the network to the wider public.

“There were delays to the project however these were by the university and Blink mitigated delays. Throughout the consultation period, Blink provided reassurance about all the work that was being undertaken and we were thoroughly pleased with all the work. and the in-depth accounts of all the work and communications.”
Tony Walkington, Logistics Manager

Ready to get started?
contact one of our EV Experts today [email protected]


Share on Social