Noosa Council Slashing Emissions And Electricity Costs With Solar

Solar power in Noosa Shire

Image: Noosa Council

Queensland’s Noosa Council says it has installed 252 kilowatts of on-site solar power capacity across six of its facilities in the past five months.

The rollout was part of an ongoing effort to harvest more energy from Council rooftops and take less from the mains grid. The recently installed systems:

  • J Depot : 50kW
  • Noosaville Depot: 50kW
  • Noosa Leisure Centre: 32kW
  • Noosa Community Support: 36kW
  • Cooroy Library: 58kW
  • Noosa Aquatic Centre 26kW

Mayor Tony Wellington said the systems will collectively generate 410 megawatt hours annually and should pay for themselves in around 6 years.

Other systems already in place prior to these installations were 112 panels (total capacity not provided) + battery storage at Peregian Digital Hub and a system on Council’s Tewantin administration building.

Zero Emissions By 2026

Installing the solar systems was one of the pledges Council made as a foundation member of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership – and there’s more PV to come; for example, Noosa Aquatic Centre’s array will be expanded to 100kW.

Council has also set a goal to reduce its net emissions to zero by 2026. The Zero Emissions Noosa Plan can be viewed here.

“Solar is an important part of Council’s plan to minimise coal-powered energy use and in turn take responsibility for our part in achieving necessary global emission reductions,” the Mayor said.

Mayor Wellington has previously referred to the rollout as an environmental win as well as an economic one.

Among Council’s other emissions reduction efforts are switching to LED’s, the use of hybrid vehicles and working towards generating electricity from captured landfill gas. Council says that landfill is by far its major source of emissions.

Noosa Shire A PV Powerhouse

Like many households in the Sunshine Coast region, residents of Noosa Shire (population 52,149 – 2016 Census) have powered ahead with installing solar panels.

The APVI’s solar map estimates 37.2% of dwellings in the region have PV-enabled rooftops. 8,903 systems were installed as at September 2018, with a collective capacity of 33.8MW. Based on 2016 population stats, this would work out to around 650 watts of small-scale solar capacity installed per person. The Australian per capita figure is currently around 300 watts.

Of the Noosa installations, 228 were in the 10-100kW range (4.37MW in total), so it seems many businesses and other organisations in the shire have also been embracing commercial solar.

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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