The University is committed to developing new programs and improving existing ones to make its activities more cost-effective and environmentally efficient.

UWA campuses will be energy carbon neutral by 2025.

A key objective of addressing the Grand Challenges identified in the UWA Strategic Plan 2020-25 will elevate UWA to one of the leaders in aiming to achieve carbon neutrality within Australia and particularly within Western Australia by 2025.

The University is developing a series of exciting initiatives aimed at:

  • reducing energy use
  • generating renewable energy on-site (solar photovoltaics)
  • ensuring our energy comes from renewable sources (from off-site renewables if required)
  • off-setting carbon emissions from natural gas use

Energy Carbon Neutrality reinforces UWA’s commitment to Clean Energy, one of the seven focus areas for the University, and supports the notion that it is ‘walking the talk’. This work also affords the University opportunities to integrate its teaching and research activities with its operations, and explores opportunities such as energy storage, demand management and emerging technologies.

What we are doing now

Energy Audits

Energy audits of most buildings on campus have been completed. This will identify opportunities for reducing energy use through building and services upgrades. The audits involved are inspections of general and plant areas.

Solar Photovoltaics (PV)

We have installed more solar PV arrays on campus, including on the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre and EZone (soon to be energised).

Thermal Energy Strategy (TES)

The TES project is aimed at ensuring there is sufficient thermal energy in the form of chilled water for building air-conditioning and research equipment cooling. TESs involve plant and equipment upgrades to improve efficiency.

What we are doing in the future

Energy Efficiency Upgrades

As a result of the energy audits, the University will identify and undertake efficiency improvements to reduce energy use on campus. This may be in the form of LED lighting replacements, lighting control upgrades and mechanical services upgrades.

Solar Photovoltaics (PV)

Planned installations of on-site solar PV include the Civil and Mechanical Engineering building and an extension of the Business School solar array.

Battery Storage

The University is exploring opportunities for battery storage on campus to optimise electricity generated through solar photvoltaics and to minimise electricity charges through load management.


The University is undertaking exciting research in Clean Energy within its faculties, including the Power and Clean Energy Research Group, Renewable Energy Vehicle Project, Centre for Energy, Centre for Energy Geoscience, and Wave Energy Research Centre. The University will continue to pursue partnership opportunities within teaching, research, industry and campus operations.


Thermal Energy Strategy

With the completion of EZONE UWA Student Hub and the Bilya Marlee building, the campus’ central thermal energy system (which provides chilled water for air-conditioning, condition control for critical facilities and cooling for critical equipment) had reached capacity and struggled to maintain conditions on very hot and/or humid days.

A thermal energy storage facility was planned to be constructed to alleviate this shortfall in capacity and to cater for future growth of the campus.

Under current circumstances of a contracted capital program, the thermal energy storage facility has been put on hold and an intermediate solution to manage the shortfall in the medium term will be implemented.

Project Overview

The University will undertake a series of works to address the shortfall in peak thermal energy (chilled water) in the medium term (3–5 years). The works are intended to:

  • Reduce peak thermal energy use – regulate building conditions via the building management system during peak periods
  • Reduce thermal energy use more generally – lighting upgrade to reduce heat generated from lower-efficiency lighting; improve efficiency of mechanical equipment to use less chilled water and repairs to facade to reduce air-conditioning leakage
  • Increase peak production capacity of existing plant – upgrading electrical supply to Central Plant and upgrading ancillary equipment to improve efficiency.

Apart from delivering additional chilled water capacity, this project also addresses the following objectives:

  • Energy Carbon Neutral Strategy – energy efficiency
  • Infrastructure Strategy – resilient and flexible services infrastructure
  • Life Cycle Renewable Program –- safe and reliable building services
  • Central Plant (B001)
  • Thermal Energy Storage (B005)
  • Buildings (likely):
  • UniClub (107)
  • Electrical Engineering (266)
  • Bayliss (211)
  • Anatomy/CTEC (344)
  • Phytotron Plant Growth (430)
  • Curnow Plant Growth (345)
  • Bayliss (211)
  • Electrical Engineering (226)
  • Reid Library (139) (TBC)
  • $5.175M
  • July 2020–December 2021


What is the project expected to deliver?

The project is expected to deliver sufficient chilled water to all buildings on campus for the next 3–5 years. It will also reduce energy use through improved efficiency of plant and equipment. Backlog maintenance items involving electrical services at Central Plant will be addressed as part of this project.

How will this project affect me?

Apart from lighting replacements, works will occur mainly in mechanical and electrical plant rooms. Therefore there should be minimal disruption to building activities. Any disruption to services will be communicated to those affected with sufficient notice given and will be carried out at a time to be agreed with building occupants.

Further information

Contact us
Email: [email protected]