solar panels at uni

The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has embarked on a new renewable project with the installation of 6,000 rooftop solar panels and a giant water battery.

The new solar panels will save USC millions of dollars and reduce thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions.

Queensland Energy Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, attended the Sippy Downs campus to flick the switch on the solar-battery scheme with USC Vice-Chancellor, Professor Greg Hill, and Veolia Australia and New Zealand CEO, Danny Conlon.

“USC has calculated that this system will reduce their electricity use by 40 per cent and save the campus $100 million over 25 years,” Dr Lynham said.

“It shows that major organisations are taking up the challenge and joining Queensland’s renewable energy revolution.

“This $12 million project has created 80 local construction jobs and adds to more than 42,000 rooftop solar systems on the Sunny Coast, and the 520,000 residential solar systems across Queensland.

“This is the power of renewable energy: it’s clean and saves money, which is a win-win outcome for the environment and the economy.”

The 2.1MW solar panel system has been installed across campus rooftops and carparks. The energy produced will cool 4.5ML of water, which is then used for air-conditioning.

Professor Hill said the system’s launch was a significant milestone in the university’s bid to become carbon neutral by 2025.

“For a regional university to be leading the way on this is proof that we don’t need to be in the big cities to be taking big strides in new ideas in renewables, and for us that’s very exciting,” Professor Hill said.

“The team behind this are already sharing the technology with schools, universities and companies around the world.”

The system will prevent more than 92 thousand tonnes of CO2 emissions from reaching the atmosphere over 25 years, equivalent to 525 average Australian houses.

Queensland already has 2,900MW of large-scale renewable generation capacity, and another 900MW of large-scale renewable capacity is either currently financially committed or under construction.

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