Latest News, Sustainability, Victoria

ANSTO’s Australian Synchrotron goes solar for a greener future

More than 3,200 solar panels have been installed across the rooftops of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) Australian Synchrotron in Clayton.

The installation of these solar panels is enough offsetting power to light up the whole MCG for more than five years.

Director for ANSTO’s Australian Synchrotron, professor Michael James said, “This investment in renewable technology is just one way we can meet our own sustainability goals while also contributing to a cleaner and greener environment.”

The panels, covering an area of nearly 6,600m², including the large and iconic circular roof of the main building that hosts the powerful particle accelerator, will save ANSTO over two million kWh per year while also reducing its carbon footprint by over 1,680 tonnes of CO2 per year.

“Electricity is one of our largest operating costs, so our new solar plant will deliver substantial savings and also act as a buffer against increasing energy overheads in the future,” said James.

The installation of a 1,668 kWh system and inverter will supply part of the Australian Synchrotron’s total energy requirements and is expected to deliver savings of around $2 million over a five-year period to 2029.

“While our science facility operates 24 hours per day, during daylight hours, the new solar plant provides a cyclical way to harness the power of light – from the sun to help power our facilities, that in turn, allows us to generate brilliant beams of synchrotron light that are more than a million times brighter than the light from the sun,” said James.

The solar panel installation, completed over a five-month period, covers the rooftops of the main Australian Synchrotron building, the Australian Synchrotron Guesthouse, and the Environmentally Controlled Storage Facility.

The program comes amidst a large expansion of the Australian Synchrotron facility, including the $100 million BRIGHT Program to construct an additional eight new beamlines for scientific research, and a partnership with Monash University’s Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre to construct a purpose-built laboratory facility to support health research and Australia’s pharmaceutical manufacturing sector.

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