WA’s City of Kwinana Saving With Solar Power

Solar panels

City of Kwinana Installs More Renewable Energy Capacity | Image: Public Domain

The City of Kwinana in Western Australia recently installed 384 solar panels on the Darius Wells Library and Resource Centre.

The 100kW solar panel system is expected to generate 177,000 kWh of electricity in its first year of operation and save the City more than $40,000 in energy costs annually, while avoiding 134 tonnes of carbon emissions.

The City’s other solar panel installations include a 30KW PV system atop the Zone Youth Space that supplies electricity to the Recquatic Centre, and a 4KW system on the Thomas Kelly Pavilion.

Solar panels on Youth Centre

IMAGE – Zone Youth Space/Recquatic Centre | Google Earth

The Council has also replaced nine electric hot water systems on its buildings with solar hot water systems, is using solar powered lighting in the City’s parks and trialing solar compacting recycling bins at the Kwinana Adventure Park.

“The City of Kwinana fully endorses the use of solar energy in both commercial and residential applications and is proud to announce the successful installation of solar technology for the Darius Wells Library and Resource Centre. The City is reducing its impact on the environment whilst also delivering savings to our community,” said Mayor Carol Adams.

More Systems To Come

The City adopted a Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan in July 2015 that sets a target of a 10% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. According to the plan, the council’s solar energy rollout won’t be stopping at the recent library project.

Solar panels are to be installed on the rooftops of various halls, community centres and other buildings over the next couple of years, totaling well over an additional 100kW collective capacity. A battery system may also be on the cards for a new Council building.

The projects are being funded through the council’s Revolving Energy Fund and other loans. A Revolving Energy Fund is a facility that starts out with seed funding, then uses the savings associated with projects to invest in others.

Mayor Adams said Kwinana was one of a growing list of councils installing large solar power systems to reduce operating costs.

“Increasing power prices and falling solar panel prices coupled with the fact that many council facilities are used during the day have made solar energy an attractive investment,” she stated.

The City of Kwinana is situated approximately 38 km south of Perth CBD. It’s home to approximately 37,000 people living in 17 suburbs, including Casuarina, Hope Valley and Kwinana Beach.

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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