Batteries are a critical part of effectively harnessing the power of renewable energy and one university has installed a giant water battery that will cut costs by 100 million over the next quarter century. The University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia is using a three story high water battery along with 6,000 solar panels they have installed on campus roofs and parking lots. The battery acts like a huge thermal energy storage tank, solar panels cool water and then it is used in campus’ air conditioning system. The project will reduce dependence on the grid by 42 percent and prevent 100,000 tons of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere. The university expects to be carbon neutral by 2025.
The University of the Sunshine Coast and its partner Veolia was awarded the Out of the Box category of the Global District Energy Climate Awards last year. The project is also a teaching tool that offers a working example of solutions to the climate crisis. It will help educate students about renewable energy, emissions reduction and cost savings.