Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Solar array turns ANU campus into a Green classroom

Media release
07 September 2011
DF11/038

A new photo-voltaic solar array at the Australian National University (ANU) will reduce the campus's carbon emissions, feed energy back into the grid and help educate the community about energy conservation measures.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, today unveiled the 14.28 kilowatt array - located on the Concessions Building of ANU's Acton campus in Canberra.

Senator Farrell said the 60-panel array is part of the university's Education Precincts for the Future project, which the Australian Government has provided more than $1 million for under its Green Precincts Fund.

"This photo-voltaic solar array will cut the ANU's carbon emissions by 19 tonnes a year and will feed the equivalent of the annual energy needs of five average Canberra households back into the ANU grid every year," Senator Farrell said.

"The Education Precincts for the Future project involves a range of energy and water conservation measures including the conversion of Willows Oval to synthetic turf and the installation of a subsurface stormwater water harvesting unit. It's estimated those measures will save 15 million litres of drinking quality water annually and make a significant contribution towards the ANU's goal of zero potable water use on the landscape by 2015."

The ANU will also increase the use of carbon neutral transport on campus and will coordinate green events including festivals, training, debates, seminars and workshops.

Senator Farrell said the Green Precincts Fund supported high-profile projects that deliver water and energy savings, while educating the community about water and energy efficiency.

"This project at the ANU is helping the campus become a demonstration classroom, which highlights energy and water conservation solutions and encourages the community to adopt sustainable practices," he said.

"It's a great example of the Australian Government's commitment to supporting projects that demonstrate better management of water and energy use, and provide educational opportunities for current and future generations."

The ANU's Education Precincts for the Future project is one of 13 projects across the nation supported by the Australian Government's Green Precincts Fund.