Columboola Solar Farm lights up future of QUT

A solar farm, which will supply QUT with renewable energy covering 50 per cent of the requirements at Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove campuses, will begin operating today, December 1.

Columboola Solar Farm, which has been developed in partnership with Griffith University, CQU and the Queensland State Government, is located between Miles and Chinchilla, and will help provide a significant cut to QUT’s carbon footprint.

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil said the solar farm would give QUT a pathway to achieve full carbon neutrality on total electricity consumption.

“The commencement of operations at the new solar farm at Columboola is an exciting time for QUT because not only does this farm now produce energy needed by our campuses, it demonstrates QUT’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint,” Professor Sheil said.

The 165MW solar farm located in Columboola, 335km NW of Brisbane, will reduce QUT annual carbon emissions (CO2e) by 20,000 tonnes.

Professor Sheil said QUT was committed to reducing its impact on the environment, as detailed in Connections – the QUT Strategy 2023 to 2027.

“Part of our obligation as a university in Australia is to adapt to the impact of climate change by partnering with industry to develop new ways of operating in the world. We do this by embedding sustainability into our practices.”

QUT has a range of initiatives in place which aim to:

  • reduce energy use and our carbon footprint
  • decrease the amount of waste generated
  • increase the proportion of waste we recycle
  • use water carefully
  • prevent pollution
  • purchase low impact goods and services, only when needed
  • lessen travel impacts
  • continually improve our environmental performance.

The Columboola Solar Farm will feature solar technology such as bifacial panels that absorb light from both the front and the back, and single axis trackers that follow the sun.

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