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The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia has laid claim to a renewable energy first. Not just first in the state of Queensland, or the nation of Australia—but reportedly first in the world. Since the opening of the US$90 million (AU$ 125 million) 64MW Warwick Solar Farm, UQ is held to be the first major university in the world to draw all the power required for its daily operations from renewable energy sources alone.

This project is a fantastic achievement for this institution and a further illustration of the immense potential that exists for universities to be leaders in the growth of solar energy generally. Especially as although UQ’s achievement is outstanding in its own right, there are also numerous other educational institutions that have made solid inroads in this space, and collectively serve to showcase the rich diversity of possibilities on offer in this arena for other universities looking to commit to a substantial solar project.

More Solar in the Sunshine State
The northeastern Australian state of Queensland is seen as a very promising destination for growing Australia’s solar capacity. As a state with a landmass of 1.853 million km², there are of course many variables from one length of its border to the next. Yet the fact its capital city Brisbane—located around just 100kms from Queensland’s southernmost border and only around 70kms from the Gold Coast, the state’s second-biggest city—regularly ranks among the sunniest capital cities in Australia illustrates the potential for solar to boom among the state capital and many other regions in the years ahead.

What’s more, recent years have seen Queensland enjoying robust growth in its population and economy. Like essentially every other jurisdiction in the world, the impact of coronavirus has stalled this temporarily, but there’s every expectation the state will see a return to this enviable economic form in years ahead. Meanwhile, as of July this year, it’s held the state now has 6,600MW of large-scale renewable generation that is already operational or committed.

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