Monash University Goes Solar

Monash University has announced the completion of a solar farm at its Clayton campus in Victoria as part of its commitment to reducing the institution’s carbon footprint.
 
The University says the solar panel array is likely the largest at any Australian university. The 416 solar panels are capable of generating about 100,000 kWh of electricity annually – enough to power 25 average-sized Australian homes. 
 
Based on Victorian coal-fired generation, this is the equivalent of offsetting 122 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission per year.
 
The 70kW rooftop solar farm is situated at the Campus Centre that houses many of the food outlets, shops and student support services. The power the panels produce is fed back into the campus’ electricity grid.
 
A computer-controlled monitor at the Campus Centre generates real-time statistics of the amount of clean electricity being produced and provides data on carbon emission savings.
 
Ecologically Sustainable Design strategy manager Brett Walters said the installation was hopefully the first of several significant renewable energy investments at Monash.
 
"The provision of real-time information on energy savings is an excellent way of tracking our achievements and will demonstrate the University’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact to the Monash community."
 
Increasingly, higher learning institutions around the world are implementing rooftop solar electric systems to help meet their power needs, while reducing their energy related carbon emission impact. Another recent example is Harvard University in the USA installing a 500-kilowatt SunPower based grid connected solar power system; another renewable energy addition to various wind power installations already in place around the campus.