The University of New England in New South Wales has announced plans to source up to half of its electricity from solar, through the installation of a solar PV farm on land adjacent to the Armidale campus.
The $6.6 million, 10,000-panel project is being funded by the university and will be designed and constructed by Melbourne-based engineering company Aurecon.
It is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2018.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Annabelle Duncan said the solar farm would provide cheaper energy than the grid and have a range of other benefits for the University.
“Electricity will be produced when it is needed the most – during the day. These measures will reduce energy costs and our carbon footprint,” she said.
“The solar farm will improve environmental and financial sustainability for UNE.
“I am also confident that the project has the potential to draw students who would appreciate a ‘green’ campus, and who are interested in hands-on opportunities for research and teaching in renewable energy topics.”
Energy to the university is currently supplied through grid electricity and liquid petroleum gas, with the academic campus accounting for 70 per cent of UNE’s electricity usage.