RACV Solar powers research at Australian Synchrotron

Aerial photo of solar panels on top of Australian Synchrotron
Australian Synchrotron (Image: RACV Solar)

RACV Solar has completed its largest solar panel installation in Victoria to date, at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)’s Australian Synchrotron in Clayton, Victoria.

Offsetting enough power to light up the whole MCG for more than five years, over 3,000 panels cover an area of nearly 6,600m², including the large and iconic circular roof of the main research facility.

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The panels will save ANSTO over two million kilowatt hours per year while also reducing its carbon footprint by over 1,680 tonnes per year.

RACV general manager energy Greg Edye said, “The engineering and technical expertise required to deliver this type of project is complex. The solar panel installation was completed over five months, and it covers the rooftops of the main Australian Synchrotron building, the Australian Synchrotron guesthouse, and the environmentally controlled storage facility.

“There will be a significant reduction in energy costs for ANSTO, with these savings used to support operations and important research. Not only are they reducing their carbon footprint, but they are also investing in a cleaner energy future.”

ANSTO’s Australian synchrotron director, Professor Michael James, said RACV Solar was selected via a competitive tender process because of its track record in successfully delivering large, complex commercial projects.

“This investment in renewable technology is just one way ANSTO can meet its own sustainability goals, while also acting as a buffer against increasing energy overheads in the future,” Professor James said.

“The reduction in our carbon footprint is enough to offset 367 family-sized cars each year.”
The installation of a 1,592kW solar power system will supply part of the Australian Synchrotron’s total energy requirements and is expected to deliver savings of around two million dollars over a five year period to 2029.

The Australian Synchrotron solar panel installation supports ANSTO’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy to reduce its grid electricity dependency by 20% by 2035.

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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 experiments, and a partnership with Monash University’s Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre to construct a purpose-built laboratory facility.

The synchrotron produces powerful beams of light that are used at the facility to examine the molecular and atomic details of a wide range of materials. The Australian Synchrotron hosts around 5,000 researchers each year.

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