Deakin University is investing $30 million in a renewable energy Microgrid which will power the Waurn Ponds Campus.
Deakin is partnering with AusNet Services and Mondo to develop an industrial-scale microgrid energy system to provide an integrated research and education platform, and contribute to the University’s sustainability goals.
The project is underpinned by a 14.5 hectare solar energy farm with a one megawatt central battery and integrates rooftop solar panels and smaller batteries across the campus.
Construction is set to begin with the microgrid project completed at the end of the year.
Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said the partnership with AusNet Services would make them leaders in the development of innovative energy systems, while also enabling the University to reduce its carbon footprint.
“We are experiencing growing global need for research in innovative renewable energy systems, and the demands on energy networks are changing rapidly as technology and knowledge tries to keep up with the growing shift by industry, consumers and governments towards sustainable generation and distribution,” Professor den Hollander said.
“This partnership gives Deakin an unparalleled opportunity to help drive the renewable energy revolution by providing unique opportunities for researchers to develop and test solutions at an industrial scale and train the next generation of energy professionals.
“The University will also be able to reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 12,000 tonnes per year and generate half of the Waurn Ponds campus’ energy needs on-site, supporting Deakin’s aspiration to be carbon neutral by 2030.
AusNet Services managing director Nino Ficca siad the partnership provides career pathways for those seeking to build, run and maintain the energy networks of the future.
“This micro-grid project will not only provide clean, renewable energy but also a world-class learning and education hub,” Ficca said.
Mondo executive general manager Chad Hymas said Mondo Power connects Australia’s renewables to the grid, maintains electricity, water and gas networks, and supports communities in achieving their energy goals.
Mondo is an independent subsidiary of AusNet Services which is Victoria’s largest energy delivery service business, owning and operating over $11 billion of electricity and gas transmission and distribution assets.