City Of Adelaide Preparing For Major Solar Panel Rollout

Image: City Of Adelaide

A tender will soon open for the installation of 1MW of rooftop solar capacity for the City of Adelaide – but not everyone is happy about it.

Last year, the City of Adelaide announced it would be adding solar panels to some of its biggest electricity-guzzling buildings. The sites earmarked to have panels installed are Pirie/Flinders UPark, Wyatt UPark, Adelaide Town Hall and Adelaide Aquatic Centre.

It’s the last site that has councillor Anne Moran rather cranky. In comments made to InDaily, Cr. Moran said the Aquatic Center was a money pit, losing about $1 million each year – and apportioned part of the blame to the fact it has a roof.

“Moran said water filtration was exceptionally expensive at the undercover swimming and leisure facility because the water was not exposed to sunlight,” states InDaily.

Cr. Moran has had the Center in her cross-hairs for quite some time.

The thorny issue of the Aquatic Center aside, the latest rollout will add to the City’s existing 180kW of solar power capacity; installed at Adelaide Central Market, London Road Depot, Rundle UPark and Adelaide Central Bus Station. Those systems alone are expected to save the City of Adelaide $50,000 per annum.

As well as saving big bucks on electricity, more PV will also help the City towards its goal of achieving carbon-neutrality for its own operations by 2020.

The tender opens on July 10 and being such a high profile project will no doubt attract a lot of interest from commercial solar installers.

The City is also encouraging residents, businesses, institutions, community and sporting organisations within its boundaries to install solar panels and solar battery systems. It is still offering incentives including up to $5,000 for solar power installations and up to $5,000 for battery storage – and that’s in addition to Australia’s existing “solar rebate“.

A good quality 6 kilowatt solar system installed on a north facing roof in Adelaide could be expected to generate an average of around 24 kilowatt-hours a day; or 8,760 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.

The City of Adelaide is a small area covering around 15.57 km². Clean Energy Regulator data indicates approximately 633 small-scale solar power systems with a collective capacity of 4.3MW had been installed in the 5000 postcode as at May 31 this year. There are a further 492 systems (2.3MW) in North Adelaide (postcode: 5006).

Analysis released  by the Australian PV Institute in April estimated Adelaide’s CBD could support 129MW of solar panels on the rooftops of suitable buildings, which would generate 174 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually – enough to provide the equivalent of 26% of the CBD’s electricity consumption.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.


  1. Meanwhile in NW Victoria near Mildura German Company BayWa Solar are building Solar farms at Karadoc ( 112 mw) and Yatpool (106 mw); the former already under construction. These will produce power for 200,000+ homes. Carlton and United breweries have signed a power purchase option (74000 MWh per year) with the Karadoc installation which already has a 4km privately installed grid connection link. The Federal National Party member for this area is a strong advocate for Coal!

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