Warwick solar farm – UQ’s ticket to 100% renewables – now fully energised | RenewEconomy

Warwick solar farm – UQ’s ticket to 100% renewables – now fully energised

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

University of Queensland edges closer to energy independence with just the final commissioning of its Warwick solar farm standing in the way of 100% renewables.

share
Warwick Solar Farm. Image: Andrew Wilson
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The 64MW Warwick Solar Farm that is 100 per cent owned by the University of Queensland and the centrepiece of the university’s shift to 100 per cent renewables, has been fully energised.

The milestone was marked by Warwick solar farm project director and University of Queensland Energy & Sustainability Lead, Andrew Wilson, in a post on LinkedIn on Monday.

“Both stages now energised and on the countdown to the start of hold point commissioning. Huge thanks to the Ergon Energy team for their outstanding efforts in helping us get to this point,” Wilson said.

The $125 million project, in Queensland’s Southern Downs region, came under the ownership of UQ in November of 2018 after the University bought it for a cost rumoured to be around the $60s/MWh mark.

The solar farm is expected to generate more than 154GWh of renewable electricity a year – which is as much or more electricity each year than the University needs – and adds to more than 6.3MW of solar already installed on the rooftop of the UQ’s St Lucia campus and at its research facility at Gatton and other sites.

The University has also installed a 1.1MW/2.15MWh Tesla Powerpack battery system which, as RenewEconomy reported in May,  has saved almost $74,000 on electricity costs in just three months.

A 38-page report published by the UQ’s Energy and Sustainability team showed the battery system – itself paid for using savings from the University’s existing solar systems – had generated $73,938 in value during Q1 2020, both by storing energy when grid prices were low and discharging when they were high, but also – in fact, mostly – by helping to balance the grid, including jumping to attention when major coal plants failed.

RenewEconomy and its sister sites One Step Off The Grid and The Driven will continue to publish throughout the Covid-19 crisis, posting good news about technology and project development, and holding government, regulators and business to account. But as the conference market evaporates, and some advertisers pull in their budgets, readers can help by making a voluntary donation here to help ensure we can continue to offer the service free of charge and to as wide an audience as possible. Thank you for your support.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Get up to 3 quotes from pre-vetted solar (and battery) installers.