Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Louis Reed)

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), located in Clayton, about 20 kilometres from Melbourne, has taken a significant step in the energy transition, and has become an example of green transformation in the scientific community. As one of the leading national research institutes, ANSTO has recognized the need to reduce its operational costs as well as its impact on the environment, especially if one takes into account the large amounts of electricity required for such research.

ANSTO is home to the Australian Synchrotron, an advanced research facility using particle accelerator technology. By accelerating electrons close to the speed of light, the synchrotron produces intense light that allows scientists to study in detail the structure and properties of materials at the atomic and molecular levels. Medicine, biology, chemistry, engineering and physics are just some of the sciences where discoveries such as new materials or new drugs are made.


In order to produce and consume electricity more efficiently, economically and cleanly, ANSTO has installed more than 3,200 solar panels on the roofs of its facilities, including on the impressive circular roof of the main synchrotron building. The 6,600-square-metre roof covered with solar panels will allow ANSTO to produce more than two million kWh of electricity annually, while reducing CO2 emissions by more than 1,680 tonnes every year until 2029, according to the organization’s website.

By using solar energy, ANSTO significantly reduces operating costs, which allows for additional investments in research capacity and expansion of scientific capabilities, while preserving the planet for future generations.

Energy portal