Lincoln University has switched on a commercial-scale, 102-kilowatt-an-hour solar energy array, as part of a plan to go coal-free by 2025.
It's the first university in the country to adopt such a large solar array, as it invests $8 million into renewable energy.
The university has partnered with Meridian Energy which is planning to install more arrays, groups of solar panels, on the campus.
Acting vice-chancellor Bruce McKenzie said half the university's energy needs had previously been met by an on-site coal boiler, but eliminating coal was important to Lincoln given its role as a land-based university with a strong sustainability ethic.
"We have a responsibility to ensure that future generations are given the opportunity to grow and thrive," Prof McKenzie said.
"This means using our resources sustainably and partnering with energy and utility experts to move away from fossil fuels, improve our energy performance and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030."
Selwyn MP Amy Adams officially switched on the solar array yesterday.