Solgen panels the pathway to La Trobe University’s ‘net zero’ ambition

La Trobe University - Commercial solar

In the latter half of 2019, La Trobe University (La Trobe), Victoria’s only state-wide university, set itself the ambitious goal of achieving ‘net zero’ emissions by 2029. What is more, La Trobe didn’t want to just buy its goal with emissions credits or sign a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), La Trobe wanted to walk the walk on its own feet and its own green pathway with commercial solar.

To that end, La Trobe enlisted Solgen Energy Group to install approximately 7,500 solar panels across 25 buildings at the University’s Bundoora campus in Melbourne’s north. At 2.5 MW a solar irradiation system of this size is no small fry, in fact, the system will provide up to 50% of the campus’ daytime power needs.

“Having 7,500 solar panel system (installed across 25 buildings will reduce our carbon emissions by 4,000 tonnes each year and is a major investment in our renewable energy future,” said La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO.

In fact, La Trobe expects to reduce its emissions by 15% in 2020 alone, and, as Dewar noted, “deliver financial savings through reducing our energy bills for the next 25 years.” David Naismith, Solgen’s Chief Commercial Officer says “Rooftop solar is a compelling method for universities and other organisations to reduce energy costs while also reducing emissions. La Trobe’s investment in solar is also key to opening new opportunities through the incorporation of energy storage and other technologies.”

An install of this size and across so many individual buildings required Solgen to choreograph installations in a range of size, configuration, and output. Atop the David Myers Building 509 solar panels were installed, enough to generate 234 MWh of energy annually and save La Trobe 250 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Larger still, take the 1,164 panels now occupying the storied rooftop above the shelves of the Borchardt Library, delivering 520 MWh each year and saving La Trobe 570 tonnes of otherwise expelled emissions. The Borchardt array alone makes up 15% of all the solar panels installed by Solgen at the Bundoora campus and represents enough energy generation to cover the needs of La Trobe’s Mildura and Shepparton campuses combined.

Solgen Energy Group is proud to be a partner of La Trobe University and to be of practicable help to major institutions looking to reduce their emissions with the uptake of clean solar energy. Moreover, it just so happens that solar uptake saves an enormous amount of money as well as emissions. By Dewar’s estimation, La Trobe will save approximately $615,000 a year thanks to its renewable uptake.


See project case study and details in our projects section – La Trobe University. For more updates on La Trobe’s net zero activity, head over to their website. If you’re interested in learning how Solgen can help your business meet their sustainability goals, while saving on energy costs, Contact Us today.

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