New solar panels are lowered onto the roof of USQ's Springfield campus. (Inset) Large sections of rooftops at Ipswich and Springfield are now harvesting solar power.
New solar panels are lowered onto the roof of USQ's Springfield campus. (Inset) Large sections of rooftops at Ipswich and Springfield are now harvesting solar power.

'$3.5m saving over 25-year period': USQ seeing the light

THE installation of almost 1200 solar panels at the University of Southern Queensland's Ipswich and Springfield campuses is expected to save the institution millions in power bills.

Stage two of the $6.1 million of what the uni calls the Sustainable Energy Solution project commenced earlier this month, with cranes used to drop 1198 solar panels on several rooftops across the campuses.

The second stage of the project should be finished by mid-December, with a total of five rooftops covered with solar panels generating a minimum of 586,949 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

USQ vice-chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said the completed project would help the university reduce its electricity costs and cut down on its daytime consumption.

"Not only will it offset more than 2500 tonnes of carbon emissions each year and save the university up to $3.5 million over the 25-year life of the solar panels, but it also provides some valuable research, learning and teaching opportunities for our students and academics," Prof Mackenzie said.

Prof Mackenzie said the two-megawatt solar project builds on the university's commitment to create a more sustainable future by improving its environmental performance across all areas of its operations.

"Just last year USQ Springfield's Building B achieved a six-star Green Star rating for sustainable construction from the Green Building Council of Australia. This is the highest rating that can be awarded and represents world leadership in environmentally sustainable building practices."

Stage one of the Sustainable Energy Solution project was completed in June and features more than 3800 solar panels installed over the largest carpark at USQ Toowoomba.

The 1.09 megawatt array is the largest of its kind in Australia.



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