Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

29 November 2019

The University of Queensland has won a coveted Australasian Green Gown Award for its commitment to sustainability through the Warwick Solar Farm project in the inaugural 2030 Climate Action category.

UQ is on track to become the first major university in the world to produce 100 per cent of its power needs from its own renewable energy asset next year.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Aidan Byrne said UQ was proud to be recognised as a leader in the sector via the awards, which recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives.

“We’re at a moment in history when the decisions we make, in my view, will determine the future well-being of humanity, and we must stop saying that individual action will not make a difference,” Professor Byrne said.

“Society is largely built on the cumulative effect of small acts.

“When it comes to climate change, we all share the responsibility and the consequences, and so we all need to make sure that we are doing our bit.”

UQ Energy & Sustainability Manager Andrew Wilson said the installation of panels at the solar farm project had recently been completed.

“With the addition of 200,000 solar panels at Warwick, the University now has about 252,000 solar panels with 70.3 megawatts of capacity, and we remain on track to commence power generation in the first quarter of 2020," he said.

"Work on site is now focused on connecting everything together, to be followed by testing and commissioning of all parts of the system.

“We will soon be producing more clean electricity than we use.”

Professor Byrne said that for UQ, the solar farm wasn’t just an economic choice.

“We’re doing it to improve our research capabilities in renewables,” Professor Byrne said.

“We’re thinking deeply about how to overcome the barriers that might slow the switch from a fossil fuel dominated energy system, including in developing countries such as China and India.

“We must all start acting, with collaboration in mind, informed by research, with an international spirit of generosity.”

MEDIA: UQ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au, 07 3365 1130.