Flinders University is implementing a number of renewable energy initiatives to reach its target of net-zero emissions from electricity from 2021 onwards, including a new electricity supply agreement across all of its South Australian campuses.
The South Australian university’s campuses are now entirely powered by renewable energy from solar arrays and a local wind farm.
The university has signed a five-year deal with global energy provider ENGIE, through its retail arm Simply Energy, which guarantees the supply of electricity from one of the state’s largest renewable energy projects, the 119MW Willogoleche Wind Farm in South Australia’s mid-north.
The supply announcement complements existing investments in solar car park and rooftop systems already generating over 20 per cent of electricity needs at the main campus.
Vice-Chancellor Professor, Colin Stirling, said Flinders University is rapidly moving towards becoming one of the first carbon positive tertiary institutions through a cost-effective range of renewable supply and storage projects.
“We’re delivering on commitments set out in our Sustainability Plan and this agreement will ensure electricity supply at Bedford Park, Tonsley and our regional campuses is sourced exclusively from renewable energy right here in South Australia, to complement existing solar electricity generated on campus,” Mr Stirling said.
“We’ve set a clear target on becoming carbon positive and this announcement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to champion sustainability by working with industry to address real-world challenges.
“Climate change is an important area of research at Flinders University and we are showing that we can ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to meaningful change in our energy operations.
“Our Bedford Park campus currently generates 2.22MW of renewable energy from solar installations on building rooftops and car parks (including 4,136 panels over carpark 3), with more recent additions increasing that number to 7,467 panels, and we are continuously assessing future investments in renewable energy.
“We have also recently installed 13 new electric vehicle charging stations and begun to transition our vehicle fleet to electric vehicles.”
In addition to the supply arrangement, the university and ENGIE Australia and New Zealand will work together to investigate further ways to reduce emissions and achieve energy generation and storage targets.