Building Victoria’s largest urban solar farm

La Trobe University is creating the largest urban solar farm in Victoria, with around 4,300 solar panels generating enough renewable energy to reduce total University emissions by 15 per cent and eliminate household emissions for the equivalent of the entire neighbouring suburb of Kingsbury.

La Trobe University's new solar farm is being built on 3.5 hectares at its Bundoora Campus and is part of the University’s goal to achieve Net Zero by 2029.

The solar farm includes a 2.9 megawatt solar energy system and 2.5 megawatt battery energy storage system, which will take the total solar generation at the Bundoora campus to 5.8 megawatts.

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO said the $10 million solar farm, fully funded by La Trobe using funds from the recently raised Green Bond, was the next step in La Trobe’s commitment to being an industry leader in sustainability.

“Our commitment to Net Zero by 2029 will see our University City of the Future become a leading energy and water efficient city, using renewable technologies to support local climate resilience and positive environmental impact,” Professor Dewar said.

“The solar farm is a vital step in this journey. Universities are perfectly placed to not just research ways to reduce emissions and develop renewable energy technologies, but to be change leaders in implementing innovative solutions.”

The solar farm will be located on vacant unused University land on the corner of Plenty Road and Kingsbury Drive.

As part of the project and the University’s commitment to sustainability, more than 40,000 plants and more than 600 trees will be planted to improve the biodiversity of the site, with a focus on locally Indigenous plants sourced from the La Trobe Nangak Tamboree Wildlife Sanctuary.

Construction is due to begin in early 2024.

La Trobe’s four regional campuses in Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton and Mildura have already achieved Net Zero emissions status.

Other work done to improve sustainability includes installing rooftop solar panels and switching to LED lights at all campuses, installing solar carports at the Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga campuses, implementing EV chargers, transitioning the fleet to EVs, and transitioning buildings from gas to electric.

Key facts:

  • 4,300 solar panels
  • Equivalent to more than 10km in length
  • 11,250M2 of solar generating area
  • Equivalent to 600 household systems
  • 2.9 megawatt system
  • 3.5 hectares

The La Trobe University City of the Future is a long-term development to transform our 235-hectare campus into a vibrant city in Melbourne’s north that will include world-class sports, research and innovation, education, commercial, retail and residential developments.

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