5817 solar panels to generate 20% of Flinders' electricity

Flinders University

Thursday, 23 August, 2018

5817 solar panels to generate 20% of Flinders' electricity

Flinders University is installing 5817 solar panels to power its Bedford Park campus.

“We’ve built a massive solar array of 4136 panels over an existing car park to create a solar carport, plus installed a further 1681 panels across six rooftops, that collectively will generate 20% of the university’s electricity needs,” said Flinders’ Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling. The 1.8 MW system will generate an estimated 2700 MWh a year and set the scene for the introduction of autonomous campus shuttles run on renewable energy.

“The solar carport will include a charging dock for recharging planned autonomous shuttles that will ferry people across campus from the future Flinders Rail station. We’ve made provision for charging points for plug-in electric vehicles, to encourage their use on campus by providing access to free solar energy,” he said.

The $4.895m project is expected to generate clean, green energy from October and pay for itself within seven years.

Flinders University Vice-President (Corporate Services) Mark Gregory said Flinders’ main campus has a large number of people and uses a significant amount of resources. “In demonstrating some of these more progressive ideas our campus can become a place where we live and breathe and create a living laboratory for new technologies, sustainable activities and new behaviours,” said Gregory.

Professor Stirling said the project adds to existing solar arrays on the university’s new Student Hub, and Law and Commerce Buildings, illustrating Flinders’ increasing commitment to environmental sustainability.

This investment in on-site renewable energy generation at the Bedford Park campus will contribute to decarbonising the energy grid in South Australia and elevate Flinders as a leader in the use of solar to support the sustainable operation of its campus and facilities, according to Stirling. 

“While we are improving our operational costs, we’re also providing an opportunity for our researchers to test ‘real world’ deployment of renewable energy technologies on our localised electricity grid at Bedford Park, as we create a more robust system with flexible forms of supply.”

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