The University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university, announced last week that it has entered into a five-year contract with Red Energy, backed by Snowy Hydro, to source 100% of its electricity from solar energy.
With this deal, the institution will become Australia’s first university to match 100% of its electricity with renewables.
The contract, which will begin from July 1, 2022, will not only cover operations across campuses and University-run student accommodation, but also various residential colleges. In terms of avoided emissions, the deal effectively removes 31,200 cars from the road. In addition, the move gets the University one step closer to achieve its 2030 goal of net zero emissions.
Mark Scott, Vice-Chancellor and President of University of Sydney, said the University’s commitment to a more sustainable future was reflected in the switch to renewable energy, and they are three years ahead of their 2025 target of switching to 100% renewable electricity.
“This agreement will power our research and teaching while reducing emissions. We are delighted to be working together with Snowy Hydro and Red Energy to achieve the ambitious energy targets set out in our sustainability strategy,” stated Scott.
Paul Broad, Managing Director and CEO of Snowy Hydro, which owns Red Energy, remarked that the cooperation will play an important role in Australia’s decarbonization and transition to renewable energy.
The switch to renewable energy is a range of projects under the institution’s sustainability strategy. The University has pledged to eliminate single-use plastic in campus by 2025 and achieve zero waste by 2030.
The Gelion solar smart bench roll-out last year and the recent installation of a biodigester to turn organic waste into compost demonstrate the University’s efforts to integrate sustainable practices across operations, teaching, and research.