Transcript

La Trobe solar power station gets green tick

Voice Over:
La Trobe University made an important step in becoming a greener university today with the launch of an array of solar panels. Installed near the Bundoora campus bike shed, the $49,000 dollar project was an initiative of the Electronic Engineering faculty, and funded by La Trobe University, Sustainability Victoria, and the federal government. It was opened by Vice-Chancellor Paul Johnson, who also got his first real taste of solar energy.
V-C Paul Johnson:
I have today consumed my first solar egg, fried entirely with solar power. Of course it was served sunny-side up.
Andrew Mackie:
These solar panels convert sunlight into electricity at an efficiency of about 14% and that electricity is DC, direct current, which then has to be converted into alternating current to be fed into the grid. This facility produces about the same electricity that a household would consume, and because its completely green it will save us eight tonnes CO2 a year.
Voice Over:
The facility will not only generate power for the university, it will also act as a leading example to other businesses, and a valuable educational tool.
Professor John Devlin:
The solar panels at La Trobe represent a solar power generation system that were going to be using as part of our sustainability stream in our engineering course. The panels will form a focus for the course to be able to let our students be able to come, test ideas, do measurements, on the system as well as providing offsets in terms of carbon emissions for the general university usage as well.
V-C Paul Johnson:

Sustainability is important for the university because as a major employer, as a major organisation here in Melbourne, weve got to play a crucial part in addressing the climate change challenges that are now impacting all Australians, indeed everyone in the world. Here at La Trobe were taking forward a large number of measures. Not just this wonderful new solar generator, but a whole range of other environmental measures to reduce our environmental impact to make sure that we can contribute to producing a more sustainable way of operation, a more sustainable way of operating the university, and thereby ensuring that future generations have a cleaner, better environment to live and work in.

Let me give you an example of some of the things were doing. Here on the university we have a co-generation plant, we generate a lot of the electricity by using gas to both create electricity and then we use the waste heat from generation to heat water.

Were also installing in Bendigo were installing a lot of water tanks to try and make sure that we can address some of the drought issues there.

We recycle a lot of water, and particularly here on the Bundoora campus where we have a set of moats and lakes around the campus, we do a lot of water recycling so we can keep the grass green for instance.

So these are some of the issues that were trying to take forward at the university.

Voice Over:
While the solar panels are proof of La Trobes ongoing commitment to sustainability, they only generate 0.1% of its total energy consumption.
Andrew Mackie:
So weve still got a long way to go. But every journey starts with a single footstep.

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