Gold Coast Aquatic Centre Goes Solar

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre (prior to solar installation) | Image via Facebook

A 312 kilowatt solar power system is now operating at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre – with battery storage to come.

MyGC reports the array features more than 1,100 solar panels and is expected to slash the Centre’s costs by around $100,000 a year.

Boasting six pools heated to a minimum of 27 degrees Celsius all year round, the Centre will be the swimming and diving facility for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. After the Games are complete, a 300kWh battery will be installed in order to achieve further savings.

Energy costs have become a pressing issue for the council, with the City’s electricity expenditure having almost doubled over the past decade according to Mayor Tom Tate. Earlier this year, Cr. Tate said the City’s annual electricity bill was around $28.7 million and without action, would further increase by around 50% over the next five years if action was not taken.

The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre is the largest solar array installed for the City to date. Other installations include a 16 kilowatt solar panel system installed at Southport Broadwater Parklands and two kilowatts on the rooftop of the Nerang Library.

Smaller solar panel installations around the region are used by the City to power facilities such as water quality monitoring sites.

According to The Australian Financial Review, the City has more than 1000 MW of other solar in the pipeline.

Another way it intends saving on electricity costs is through the use of LED street lights, with 890 lights now rolled out across Surfers Paradise.

Many Gold Coast residents have already embraced solar energy as a way to reduce their energy bills.

According to the most recent data from Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator, the 4211 postcode, which includes Nerang, is home to 7,525 small scale solar power systems with a collective capacity of 26.84MW; ranking it number 7 nationally both in terms of number of systems and capacity.

It looks like the next generation will be well versed on the technology. The City has also designed and funded an energy education trailer that visits schools to teach children about renewable energy and energy conservation through interactive displays, hands-on activities and classroom presentations. The trailer is equipped with a stand-alone power system featuring solar panels, a wind turbine and battery storage.

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.

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