La Trobe to purchase all renewable energy as it heads to Net Zero 2029

La Trobe University

La Trobe University will purchase 100 per cent renewable energy as part of its commitment to be Net Zero by 2029.

The University has entered into a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) with global energy leader Iberdrola, enabling it to purchase electricity from a renewable source, and by 2028 all electricity purchased will be 100 per cent emissions-free.

The agreement paves the way for La Trobe to eliminate its single largest source of emissions.

La Trobe’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Theo Farrell, said the agreement was part of the University’s ongoing commitment to being a sustainable leader, and is funded by its Sustainable Finance Program.

“This commitment will significantly contribute to our 2029 Net Zero target, which we are already well on the way to achieving,” Professor Farrell said.

“Sourcing renewable energy enables the reduction of carbon emissions by 27,000 tonnes – the equivalent of over 2,000 homes – an emissions reduction of more than 50 per cent.

“Our Net Zero program is integral to the University’s strategic plan, showcasing our dedication to addressing urgent local and national challenges, including climate change.”

This transaction enables the University to make a long-term commitment to purchase low-cost energy from a renewable source.

The renewable energy is produced at the Cherry Tree Wind Farm in Seymour, Victoria, by Iberdrola Australia. Iberdrola is a leading wind power producer and one of the largest electricity companies in the world.

Iberdrola Australia’s Chairman and CEO, Ross Rolfe, AO, said: “We are delighted to be supporting La Trobe University as they deliver their ambitious sustainability objectives. Their long-term renewable energy supply agreement with Iberdrola Australia will help achieve their decarbonisation objectives and contribute to a brighter future for the Victorian environment and economy. It’s a fantastic commitment from a university with a long history of support industry and innovation in Victoria.”

The agreement, which was coordinated by Energetics, follows a number of sustainable initiatives implemented by La Trobe in the last year to support its Net Zero 2029 target.

Last July the University launched the inaugural green bond offering, a borrowing instrument issued to finance new and refinance existing eligible green assets.

The green bond issuance, valued at AUD $175 million, will be used exclusively to fund a diverse range of eligible eco-friendly projects and initiatives in areas such as renewable energy, green building, sustainable water and waste management and terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity conservation.

The University also announced it is creating the largest urban solar farm in Victoria, with around 4,300 solar panels generating enough renewable energy to reduce total University emissions by 15 per cent and eliminate household emissions for the equivalent of the entire neighbouring suburb of Kingsbury.

The $10 million solar farm is funded by the University’s Sustainable Finance Program, and is now under construction.

La Trobe’s four regional campuses in Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton and Mildura have already achieved Net Zero emissions status.

Other work done to improve sustainability includes installing rooftop solar panels and switching to LED lights at all campuses, installing solar carports at the Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga campuses, implementing EV chargers, transitioning the fleet to EVs, and transitioning buildings from gas to electric.

/Public Release.