Solar pioneer

Solar pioneer

17 February 2010

Largest solar panel network

 Photovoltaic arrayMonash installs a large network of solar panels at the Clayton campus as part of a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. The photovoltaic array is believed to be the largest at any Australian university and is capable of generating about 100,000 kWh of electricity a year - enough to power 25 average-sized homes.

The 416 solar panels are installed on the roof of the Campus Centre (Building 10) that houses food outlets, shops and student support services.

The power the panels produce is fed back into the campus' electricity grid and will power new eBuggies – electric carts being used by the University's maintenance department, security office and residential services.

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.

Ecologically Sustainable Design strategy manager Brett Walters said the installation of the solar panels was part of an integrated strategy to reduce the University's carbon footprint and would be the first of several significant renewable energy investments.

"We believe this array to be the largest on any Australian university campus and a visible demonstration of Monash University's support for renewable energy," he said.

"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."