The University of Newcastle has signed a seven year contract with Red Energy to buy 100 per cent renewable electricity across its Newcastle and Central Coast campuses.
The move is in response to feedback from students, staff and stakeholders who want to see the University do its bit to tackle climate change through increased investment in renewable energy.
The University of Newcastle is also the first university in Australia to sign up to Red Energy’s new 100 per cent renewable product. Its contract commences 1 January 2019, with 100 per cent renewable electricity provided from 1 January 2020 (once Red Energy has finished building its solar, wind and hydro capacity).
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said social and environmental responsibility is at the core of their operations.
“Our students, staff and community told us they want us to demonstrate our commitment to environmental sustainability in a tangible way, so we are extremely pleased to partner with Red Energy to use 100 per cent renewable electricity,” he said.
“In addition to making a positive environmental impact, the new contract delivers costs savings that will enable us to continue investing in strategic initiatives. This is about us using our buying power for good,” explained the Vice-Chancellor.
Paul Broad, Managing Director of Snowy Hydro, which owns Red Energy, also commented that the landmark Energy Supply Agreement (ESA) with the university represents one of the first direct off-takes for ‘firmed’ renewable electricity of this type.
“On-demand hydro from the mighty Snowy Scheme will underpin our contracted wind and solar generation, meaning Red Energy can supply the University of Newcastle with reliable renewable energy,” he stated.
The partnership with Red Energy complements the university’s ongoing solar panel project, which has recently seen 278 solar panels installed at its Ourimbah campus and a commitment to installing a further 7,000 solar panels across Ourimbah and Callaghan – one of the largest Photovoltaic solar installations in the sector.