A 64 MW solar farm in Warwick is now being developed, which, once finished, would help the University of Queensland become the first major university to offset 100 percent of its electricity requirements by using its own renewable energy assets.
Last week, the university announced that it will be starting the construction of the Warwick Solar Farm which it officially took ownership of in 2018. The project is reported to cost around $125 million.
Renew Economy reported through its website that the solar farm would produce over 154 GWh annually upon its completion. It will add to more than 6.3 MW of solar on the rooftop of the St. Lucia campus and at its research facility at Gatton and other sites.
According to Peter Hoj, the Vice-Chancellor and President Professor of the University of Queensland, the university utilised a large amount of energy to power various facilities for its 52,000 students and staff.
There were previous reports that UQ has purchased the solar farm at $60s/MWh and the acquisition will add to the present 50,000 solar panels on its campuses and at the same time, have a “meaningful investment in creating a sustainable future,” as Hoj puts it.
He added, “We are unashamedly committed to being a leader in sustainability and the renewable energy sector. This will become a centrepiece of our education and research into renewables, and the Southern Downs Region can expect regular visitors from UQ and further afield over the 25-year life of the solar farm.”
Tracy Dobie, Southern Downs Region Council Mayor, also praised the university’s involvement in the clean energy project and said it provided the essential drive to research and education.
Dobie stated, “A memorandum of understanding includes plans for electric car charging stations by the end of the year and a visitor information centre offering guided tours of the project, and this will help put the Southern Downs on the map as a future-focused region.”
Terrain Solar originally developed the project but it was signed over to the University of Queensland in November last year. It was continued after the finalisation of an assessment with Ergon Energy and development approval from the Southern Downs Regional Council.
Read the other details of the report here.
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