07 Dec Charles Sturt University to boast one of Australia’s largest rooftop solar systems
Charles Sturt University (CSU) will soon boast one of the largest rooftop solar energy systems in Australia. The rooftop solar photovoltaic system will generate 1.77 megawatts of power at peak output, with an annual output of 2,618,184 kWh. This represents 18.7 per cent of the University’s electricity consumption in Wagga Wagga.
The system is set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,513 tonnes CO2-e compared to conventional grid-sourced electricity, making a significant contribution to reducing the University’s carbon footprint.
CSU’s Green Manager, Ed Maher said, “What is also significant is that the new system will not involve any significant capital funding by Charles Sturt University and will result in cheaper power in its first year. This is despite our existing low electricity tariffs and the absence of any unique government subsidies or grants.
“Given these early savings, I believe it marks a new phase in the financial viability of renewable energy on a large commercial scale which is another step towards a clean energy future.”
Independent energy services company, Verdia, arranged financing for CSU’s solar solution. Verdia provides end-to-end program and project support for commercial, industrial and government solar and energy efficiency projects.
Keith Hogan, Director of Procurement and Risk Management for CSU said, “Verdia’s understanding of the equipment being financed – and the different finance options – meant that we were able to progress the delivery of a solar energy system that will be three times the size of the one we were originally considering. As a result, we’ll achieve considerably higher energy cost savings and a bigger reduction in our carbon footprint.”
Paul Peters, CEO of Verdia added, “CSU is leading the way with its smart approach to reducing energy costs and improving its environmental footprint.
“Like CSU, any organisation considering a solar or energy efficient solution should develop the business case as the first step. Design the right solution for your circumstances, and source quality solar and energy efficiency equipment from a good supplier… once you have these aspects right, finance can typically be arranged with no upfront capital required, so the solution is cash-flow positive from the start.”
The 6,012 panels, which would cover an entire football field, are expected to be on-site by March 2017 and fully commissioned four months later.
They’ll be placed on top of 11 buildings at CSU in Wagga Wagga including: the Learning Commons, School of Communication and Creative Industries building, School of Dentistry and Health Sciences building, indoor arena at the Riverina Equestrian Centre, gymnasium, student accommodation, National Life Sciences Hub, Phytotron, and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
The announcement of the new contract follows the declaration earlier this year of CSU as Australia’s first Carbon Neutral university.