Solar Energy Powers On at Inner West Council

The Inner West Council continues to expand renewable energy across its Council buildings with two new solar panel projects launched this month at the Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre (LPAC).

Administrator Richard Pearson said the wide range of panel ‘photovoltaic (PV)’ systems already installed across Council buildings lower carbon emissions as well as saving many tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs for Council and the community each year.

“The new solar panels at Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre will generate enough energy to power 351 desktop computers a year continuing a proud solar energy efficient tradition of local government in the Inner West pioneered by each of our former Councils,” he said.

Mr Pearson said solar panels have been installed across Council including on administration centres in Leichhardt and Petersham, depots in Balmain, St Peters and Ashfield, aquatic centres in Leichhardt and Enmore Park as well as at Council libraries in Haberfield and Dulwich Hill.

Mr Pearson said part of the efficiency of Council’s solar systems is they are embedded locally.

“This means power only has to travel short distances ¬from where it is generated to where it used in these Council buildings or even by nearby residents, so less power is lost,” he said.

“Decentralisation of our power generation is helping cities move away from fossil fuel reliance. In our cogeneration plants it even means using the heat energy generated by the production of electricity to heat buildings and water – an energy form that is totally lost in centralised production out of the city.”

The two new solar PV systems at LPAC add to the already existing cogeneration plant onsite. The panels began operating at the start of August and include:
• A 30kW system on the new program pool building roof: The 115 panel system will generate 45,100 kWh, abate 43.3 tCO2-e in greenhouse gases and save $9,020 in energy costs every year.
• A 35.5kW system on the gym roof: The 134 panel system is expected to generate 53,170 kWh, offset 51.04 tCO2-e and save up to $10,634 in energy costs every year.

Some other major Council buildings with solar panels include:
• Council’s Petersham Administration Building had 80 solar panels installed in 2014. The 20 kilowatt system produces an estimated 30,000 kilowatt hours per annum – a saving of 31 tonnes of CO2 every year, equivalent to taking about seven cars off the road
• The Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre in Enmore Park has a 30kW solar system and cogeneration plant. The solar panels generated120, 000 kWh energy in their first three years, contributing excess electricity to the local grid. Residents who live near the Centre will have almost certainly used some of this renewable energy.
• Council’s Chrissie Cotter Gallery in Camperdown has 1.5kW solar panels (coupled with an LED lighting upgrade) that have decreased electricity consumption by approximately 45% since the installation in June 2012. This generates an annual saving of approximately $400.

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Page last updated: 20 Nov 2018