South Australia’s Flinders University has become the latest tertiary institution in Australia to source all of its electricity from renewable energy, in this case though a mix of on-campus solar and an off-take deal with the nearby Willogoleche wind farm.
The milestone was announced on Monday, alongside the “innovative” five-year power purchase agreement signed with Simply Energy, the retail arm of global energy provider ENGIE, to source power from the wind farm.
Engie’s 119W Willogoleche wind farm, located near Hallett in the state’s mid-north, was completed in July 2019 – the same year that the French energy giant closed its Hazelwood coal plant in Victoria.
The University said the new PPA, alongside the 2.2MW of existing solar carpark and rooftop systems at the main Adelaide Bedford Park campus, would supply the electricity for all of its campuses as part of a “raft of bold renewable energy initiatives.”
“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,” Stirling said in a statement.
“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.
“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.”
Stirling said the University was “continuously assessing” additional future investments in renewable energy, and would also work with ENGIE Australia & New Zealand on further ways to cut emissions and meet energy generation and storage targets.
The University’s Bedford Park campus has also recently installed 13 new electric vehicle charging stations, to service the transition of the staff’s vehicle fleet to EVs, Sterling said.