Solar to power Monash University



solar panels at Monash University

A new solar array at Monash University

Credit: Paul Phillipson

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A vast network of solar panels capable of providing enough electricity to power 25 average sized homes for a year has been installed by Monash University at its Clayton campus.

The photovoltaic array is believed to be the largest at any Australian university and has been installed as part of Monashʼs commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

The 416 solar panels are installed on the roof of the Campus Centre, the building that houses many of the food outlets, shops and student support services. The power they produce is fed back into the campus grid.

A computer-controlled screen at the heart of the Campus Centre gives real time statistics of the amount of energy being produced and provides examples of carbon emission savings.

Energy produced by the panels will offset electricity used to power batteries operating the universityʼs recently acquired fleet of eBuggies, electric carts that are being used by the universityʼs maintenance department, the security office and residential services.

The Universityʼs ESD (ecologically sustainable development) strategy manager, Brett Walters said "We believe this array to be the largest on any Australian university campus and it is a visible demonstration of Monash Universityʼs support of renewable energy.

"It is part of an integrated strategy to reduce our carbon footprint and is hopefully the first of several significant renewable energy investments. The display screen providing real-time information is an excellent way of following just what is being achieved and will, hopefully, highlight to students and staff alike one way we are tackling the campaign to reduce our footprint."