University of Queensland set to use 100 per cent renewable energy

The University of Queensland is set to be the first major university in the world to offset 100 per cent of its electricity usage through its own renewable energy asset.

The estimation comes after Terrain Solar and its strategic development partner PwC Australia announced the sale of the Warwick Solar Farm to the University of Queensland on November 30.

Completion of the transaction occurred after the project successfully obtained grid connection approvals from the relevant authorities in early November.

Once fully operational, the university’s solar farm will generate up to 160,000 MWh of renewable energy annually, displacing 125,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum.

READ: Maoneng, Decmil, close the deal on 250MW NSW solar farm

The project is expected to first export power in time for summer 2019/2020.

Lendlease will provide the EPC and O&M services to the project with notice to proceed having been issued.

The detailed design phase is now officially underway, and construction will start early in 2019 creating up to 100 direct jobs.

Terrain Solar chairman David Griffin said it is always exciting to see a significant solar farm development commence the delivery phase.

“We are particularly pleased to have assisted the University of Queensland to enter the market as a new equity investor and offtaker, and lendlease as a new EPC contractor,” said Griffin.

“This can only be beneficial for the broader renewable electricity industry, as we accelerate the transition from fossil fuelled electricity to renewables,” he said.

The landmark project represents a significant milestone for Terrain Solar and builds on the company’s track record across New South Wales and Queensland in delivering a portfolio of high quality and geographically diversified projects to the market.

Separately, Terrain Solar and PwC are developing a portfolio of PV solar projects of more than 200MW across New South Wales and Queensland.

Once operational, the portfolio will span close to one million solar panels, helping to create an additional 600 construction jobs in the process.

Chris McLean, partner in PwC’s infrastructure lead advisory team, said the company is proud to be the financial, commercial, legal and tax advisor to Terrain Solar on the development and sale of Warwick Solar Farm to the University of Queensland.

“Our innovative integrated advisory approach to the development of infrastructure projects was once again showcased in this landmark transaction,” said McLean.

PwC continues to act as lead advisor on the development of Terrain Solar’s portfolio of projects, providing a fully integrated service offering including financial, commercial, legal, tax, accounting and financial modelling advice.