Christchurch's Lincoln University has committed to the largest array of solar panels at any New Zealand university after pressure from students to shut down the coal stack which powers the campus.
The campus dining hall will be adorned with 324 solar panels, generating 120,000 kilowatts of electricity a year, enough to power 17 homes.
It comes after pressure from students, who see the coal stack every day on the way to lectures.
“We get a lot of questions from our students around what we're doing in the sustainability space,” Lincoln University’s Dean of Faculty of Environment Society and Design Roslyn Kerr said.
The installation of the panels comes after the university struck up an innovative, no-money up front deal with Meridian Energy.
The deal allows Lincoln to pay the panels off over 15 years.
“We're buying the system, we're paying for the panels and the installation, and we're selling the electricity that generates off them to the university,” Meridian Energy Emerging Markets Lead Tim Calder said.
The university hopes to eliminate its use of coal by 2025.
"We're planning to invest around eight million over the next 10 years, and this is really to ensure as much of our campus becomes renewable as possible,” Ms Kerr said.