The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has installed 6000 rooftop solar panels and a giant water battery, which will save thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions.
Queensland Energy Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said, “USC has calculated that this system will reduce their electricity use by 40 per cent and save the campus $100 million over 25 years
“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.
USC Vice-Chancellor, Professor Greg Hill, said that 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.”
Veolia Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Danny Conlon, said that the project had been able to draw upon Veolia’s global expertise, delivering a solution with long-term economic and environmental benefits for the university.
“We’re pleased to have created local employment and education opportunities in the region through this project.”