The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is partnering with solar company Maoneng Australia and energy company Origin to become fully solar powered by 2019.
The 15-year solar corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) will see UNSW meet all of its energy needs using solar power supplied by Maoneng’s proposed Sunraysia solar farm, which will be constructed near Balranald in NSW’s Riverina region.
When completed, Sunraysia is expected to be the largest solar farm in Australia, generating at least 530,000MWh of electricity annually, of which 124,000MWh will be supplied to UNSW.
UNSW’s decision to go completely solar for their energy needs is part of their goal to become carbon neutral by 2020.
UNSW president and vice chancellor Ian Jacobs said the agreement reflected the University’s commitment to global impact outlined in their 2025 strategy.
Financial considerations also played a part in the decision to go 100 percent solar, given that the solar PPA agreement allows UNSW to secure carbon emission-free electricity at an economically and environmentally attractive cost.
Several Australian universities have implemented similar programs including Monash University, Charles Sturt University and the University of Tasmania.