In 2016 the University secured funding through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to deliver solar PV panels and other energy projects on campuses.
Generating renewable energy on campus
$9.1 million of debt funding was secured across 2016–2018 to reduce the University’s carbon footprint by 4000 TCO2. This involved the installation of 7,000 solar panels across 21 campus locations, with a total generation capacity of 2090kW—2.5% of the University’s current energy consumption.
3 GWh of annual electricity savings have been achieved through the first round of CEFC funded projects, which include the solar PV panel installations. The solar panels alone generated savings of 3,693 MWh across quarter three 2017 to quarter two 2019, equating to 4366 CO2e tonnes. The PV panels have a lifespan of 20 years and require little maintenance, allowing the University to dedicate maintenance resources elsewhere.
The installation of solar panels on campus has saved $800,000 in energy bills per year. This has been used to pay off the CEFC loan with the remainder invested in further carbon neutral initiatives, including the Smart Campus Energy Upgrades project which is the current energy savings project underway.