Ipswich Solar Car Park Charges Ahead

Solar powered electric car charging in Ipswich

Ipswich’s first solar car park featuring electric vehicle chargers was officially opened by Queensland’s Energy Minister yesterday.

Goodna Technology Park’s new installation features 216 solar panels with a collective capacity of 55kW1 and two electric charging stations. Park owner Bruce Leslie said adding the system and EV chargers was a good business decision as well a positive one for the environment.

“We want to demonstrate to other Queensland businesses that it is feasible to provide completely renewable charging for electric cars at work while also generating a reasonable commercial return,” he said.

Mr. Leslie is very familiar with the benefits and potential of solar energy – he leads product development at concentrated solar thermal power and storage firm, Vast Solar.2 

Solar car park Ipswich

The new solar car park and EV charging infrastructure adds to an existing 30 kW PV system on the rooftop of the main building at Goodna Technology Park, which houses five businesses. Surplus electricity generated by the new system will sold to the businesses, with payback expected in just four to five years. It’s not uncommon for simple payback on commercial solar to be achieved within five years these days given mains electricity pricing, the plummeting cost of solar components and improvements in installation efficiency.

Lynham: Renewables Essential To QLD’s Economic Recovery

Officiating at the opening after arriving in an electric car that was then plugged into the charging system, Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham talked up Ipswich’s and Queensland’s renewable energy future.

“Queensland’s renewable energy revolution is steaming ahead, and Ipswich is part of that progress,” Dr Lynham said. “Renewable energy is an emerging industry and essential to Queensland’s economic recovery strategy because it creates jobs as well as reducing emissions and driving down power prices. Ipswich is part of the revolution with the city’s first solar-powered electric vehicle charger and now a solar farm proposal.”

The proposal he was referring to we mentioned earlier this week – Eiwa Queensland’s $80 million, 50MW solar farm project for Karrabin that recently received the green light from Ipswich City Council.

Member for Bundamba Lance McCallum also attended the opening. 

“It’s great to see businesses like the technology park taking up the renewable energy challenge with electric car charging and investors like Eiwa Queensland having confidence in our city and renewables,” he stated

Mr. McCallum also noted around 26,000 rooftop PV systems are installed throughout the City of Ipswich local government area. There are more than 8,800 small-scale solar power systems in Ipswich itself according to SQ’s Australian solar location database

Related: The Homeowner’s Guide To Solar And Electric Cars

Footnotes

  1. That would work to the panels being around 255 watts each, which seems rather small for a new installation – but perhaps there’s some oversizing involved.
  2. On a related note, Vast Solar announced this week it had identified Mount Isa as its preferred site for a 50MW dispatchable energy project combining solar PV, a large-scale battery and gas-fired generators with Vast Solar’s concentrated solar thermal power technology.
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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