The University's Sustainability Plan for 2016-20 will set pathways for the University's longer term sustainability objectives, including a transition to carbon neutrality by 2030. A key focus will be on further energy reduction and transitioning our energy supply to renewable energy sources.
Carbon Reduction from Energy Reduction Program (started in 2008)
Our annual carbon savings is now up to 33,175 tonnes CO2 e, which is an accumulated savings of over 200,000 tonnes of carbon emissions since 2008. The cost of the project has been $9.07M so far, with an equivalent annual cost savings of $3.09M (at 11c / kWh).
The University made significiant reduction in energy usage and carbon emissions in 2007-2010 due to initial provision of funding of $3.5m. In 2011 and 2012, funding has been sufficient to mitigate increased demand through further energy efficiency endeavours and investment in green power and abatements.
Solar Power Project Underway
A major component of the University’s $9.1m agreement with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is about to commence with six sites to receive various sized Solar photovoltaic (PV) panel installations over the coming weeks.
The list of sites in this significant first stage of the program includes:
- The McCoy Building (Earth Sciences)
- The SPOT Building (FB&E)
- The Alice Hoy Building (MDHS)
- The Richard Berry Building (Science)
- The University Sports Building
- The University Archives Building (Dawson St)
The project team is working with local facility managers and the successful contractors to ensure any disruptions around the sites is minimal and that safety is paramount during the construction phase, which will take until late 2016.
The capacity of these panels will exceed 580KW, equivalent to around 200 average residential systems. The associated reduction in carbon footprint will be approximately 850 tonnes per year.
The high quality panels and inverters have a service life of 20 years and will require minimal maintenance. The savings generated will be used to pay off the CEFC loan and invest in further carbon neutral initiatives.
Other sites to soon benefit from the Solar PV program include Werribee, Southbank, Dookie and Burnley campuses, as well as a second tranche of buildings across the Parkville campus.
The program will run until 2017.
Utility Reports Database
The Utility Report database provides electricity consumption reports for each university building. This will assist departments, faculties and divisions to understand their electricity consumption over a period of time and enable effective strategies to reduce our university-wide carbon footprint.
The database has the ability to produce flexible reports, including aggregating several buildings over a nominated time period. All utilities are covered by the database - electricity, gas, steam and water, but only the electricity usage can be queried at a building level.
- Click on 'Access Clariti' above.
The generic log on for Clariti access is:
- Reports are available to export in PDF format or Excel.
- Should University Departments require assistance with utilising the database or interpreting reports, please contact us. We are happy to provide as much information as we can.
Wilson Hall - Solar Installation
Frameless, glass-on-glass TRINA solar panels were selected for Wilson Hall, in an array designed by Sun Edison, complying with the University's strict heritage guidelines that required the panels rise no more than 150mm above the roofline.
The array minimises the negative impacts of panels being laid flat, where rainwater can pool, dry out and leave dust behind, reducing the capacity of the panels.
In addition, the introduction of new inverters, known as Fronius inverters, has enabled a dramatic reduction in the internal energy demands of the system.
Read more about this exciting project that is helping our University transition to a clean energy campus.
Solar projects to date
100kW Wilson Hall (BN151)
30kW Infrastructure Services, 625 Swanston Street (BN218)
30kW Solar installation on Robotic Dairy Facility, Dookie Dairy (BNxxx)
48kW Solar BiPV Alan Gilbert Building (BN104)
Key Energy Reduction Projects
The 33,175 tonnes CO2 e savings are the result of over 300 projects across the University campuses + more to come. These projects include:
- Completion of Building Lighting Upgrade (BLU) and controls across Redmond Barry and University Square car park at Parkville campus for energy saving replacing over 2800 LED fittings
- BLU2 the upgrade of almost 3000 light fittings in the Law building to be completed in final quarter 2015.
- MU Sports, LED floodlights installed across Beaurepaire (2 gyms and pool), improving lighting levels and reducing energy use by 50%.
- Biodigester project capturing fugitive methane gas from agricultural waste, Dookie campus
- Installation of Voltage Power Optimisation Units in the Law and Spot Buildings, Parkville
- Major Geothermal Facility under construction at Bio21
- Lighting upgrades (currently LED's)
- Broader temperature control bands (20C – 26C)
- Reduced operating schedules
- Mechanical services upgrades
- Enhanced Building Automation Systems (BAS)
- CO sensors in underground car parks.