Published: 10th November 2020
Government funding backs Lincoln University’s goal to be fossil fuel-free by 2024
Lincoln will immediately begin work to convert its existing heating network from coal-fired steam to 100 per cent electrification
Lincoln University’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2030 and to cease the combustion of coal by 2024 has received a major boost with confirmation of a $4.576 million investment from the New Zealand Government’s $200 million Clean Powered Public Service Fund, announced today by Hon James Shaw at the Lincoln campus.
The funding boost will enable the University to advance directly to its stated end-goal of decommissioning its coal-powered boiler by mid-2024. Lincoln will immediately begin work to convert its existing heating network from coal-fired steam to 100% electrification. This will involve a campus-wide rollout of distributed heat pumps and induction boiler heaters powered by an upgraded electrical network in time for the winter of 2024.
Once the electrification project has been completed, the University’s boiler plant and coal stack will be decommissioned and deconstructed, making way for a regenerative and biodiverse central greenspace.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Bruce McKenzie said the funding announcement was great news for the University and a significant development in the Government’s decarbonisation aspirations. “With this funding approval, the Government is effectively endorsing Lincoln’s positioning as an international and national leader in achieving and promoting ecologically, socially and economically sustainable development. We are New Zealand’s only land-based university, and as such we are deeply committed to advancing our understanding of the relationships between land, food and ecosystems. Through our research and teaching, and through everything we do at Lincoln, we are intent on playing our part in New Zealand’s transition to a more productive and low-emissions economy.”
He further added, “We see sustainability as an imperative rather than a choice, and our resolve to proceed immediately and directly to a carbon neutral future is just one way we can demonstrate our commitment to environmental protection and the integrity of our strategic decision-making.”
Lincoln University is the only New Zealand University to achieve a ranking on the UI Green Metric World University Rankings, and in partnership with Meridian Energy has recently boosted its commercial-scale solar energy generating capability, with several roof-mounted solar installations already delivering 250,000 kWh of clean renewable energy to the campus network per year.
The solar installations and the decarbonisation project are part of a wider campus development programme for Lincoln that includes the construction of two new fit-for-future science buildings, an extensive upgrade of the Sport and Recreation Centre and visionary landscaping projects that will enhance the vibrancy of the park-like campus and promote a positive learning, research and community-focused environment