Monash University achieves environmental sustainability milestone

Bright July skies and the month’s hottest day on record have helped take Monash University to a remarkable milestone in the production of renewable energy. Don’t forget: June through August is winter in Australia, so having a “hot day” in July is considered an event!

Arts degrees at Monash University
Learn more about Monash’s environmental sustainability program

The Monash Environmental Sustainability (ES) department is responsible for the implementation of the university’s environmental programs and initiatives. ES brings together expertise in environmental planning, engineering, compliance and behavioural change. It focuses on improving the built environment in combination with extensive behavioural change programs to engage the Monash community to work and study in a more sustainable manner.

The Environmental Sustainability program at Monash is implemented through Environmental Sustainability Department with the assistance of
  • Green Representatives and Environmental Officers;
  • the Monash Sustainability Institute;
  • School of Geography & Environmental Science; and
  • the Monash Student Association.

As measured by the Environmental Sustainability program, the one-millionth kilowatt hour has just been generated from the array of solar panels installed across five of the university’s campuses. The energy would be enough to supply the power needs for 150 average size homes for a year or the equivalent of three Melbourne Cricket Ground stadiums.The milestone also equates to the prevention of 1340 tonnes of CO2-equivalent escaping into the atmosphere, and a cost saving of $200,000.

Environmental Sustainability, part of the Facilities and Services Division at Monash University, installed the first solar panels at Clayton campus in 2010. These had the capacity for generating just over 70 kilowatt-hours.

Other arrays have since been established at Parkville, Berwick, Gippsland and Caulfield.

Further panels have been established throughout the Clayton campus with the largest being set on the roof of the new Briggs and Jackomos halls of residence that now generates 38 per cent of the total output.

The eight separate arrays have an overall capacity of 429 kWh.

Director of Environmental Sustainability Paul Barton said the milestone has been reached through the university’s commitment to supporting on-site renewable energy generation.

“Monash has very deliberately been installing large solar arrays on each of its campuses not only to generate renewable energy but also to engage the thousands of staff, students and visitors to our campuses.

“Monash recognizes it can contribute to the global challenge of climate change and sustainability through its teaching, research and also its campus operations, the Monash Environmental Sustainability director said.

“The solar arrays have been an effective way for Monash to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability.”

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