Deakin’s commitment to sustainable Victorian communities and mitigating the impacts of climate change, is bolstered by its official membership of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project 2 (MREP2).
As a sustainability leader the University will from 1 July 2020, start procuring 14 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity per year through the Yaloak South Wind Farm at Mount Wallace, an hour west of Melbourne.
Deakin’s chief operating officer, Kean Selway, said supporting the project and co-partners is a firm and considered step forward in the institution’s sustainability journey that will reap benefits.
“We are pleased to join the MREP2 membership, which progresses our commitment to economic, social and environmental sustainability and demonstrates our leading capacity to transition to cleaner energy,” Selway said.
“This is an important and very practical milestone in achieving our target of being carbon neutral by 2025, and contributing to a more sustainable future for the communities we serve, which we are very much a part.
“Our involvement enables us to power the innovative research, teaching and learning Deakin is renowned for at the Geelong Waterfront and Warrnambool campuses – and a portion of the Burwood Campus in Melbourne. Significantly, we will reduce emissions from these locations by 14,000 tonnes per year.”
Transitioning to 100 per cent renewable electricity is a key pillar of Deakin’s energy and emissions strategy. In addition, procuring 14 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity per year through the wind farm will satisfy 25 per cent of Deakin’s total operational electricity requirements.
“Universities are in the privileged position of equipping the next generation of leaders, innovators and thinkers to understand the global climate challenges facing the world, and it’s important we lead with solutions that deliver community, economic and environmental benefits,” Selway said.
Deakin is part of a group of prominent Melbourne universities and businesses that has secured the MREP2 deal to power their operations with wind energy produced in regional Victoria. Tango Energy will provide 110 GWh of renewable electricity per year to the purchasing group, over 10 years.
The purchasing group includes Deakin, RMIT University, Cbus Property, ISPT Property, Fulton Hogan, Citywide Asphalt, and Mondelez International. This new group includes 14 shopping centres, nine office buildings, seven educational campuses, and four manufacturing facilities.
MREP2 is the second purchasing agreement facilitated by Melbourne City Council through the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project. Combined with MREP1, the two projects represent the equivalent of a 5 per cent reduction in the city’s emissions, and a tangible shift towards renewable energy in the national grid.
The deal is equivalent to providing enough renewable power for more than 22,000 households a year. Combined with MREP1, it is enough power for 40,000 households a year.