SA’s City Of Onkaparinga To Reap More Solar Energy Savings

Solar energy - City of Onkaparinga

Three of the City of Onkaparinga Council’s biggest energy-consuming sites will benefit from the installation of solar panels in the next few months.

The City of Onkaparinga is a local government area (LGA) located on the southern fringe of Adelaide and incorporates suburbs including Aldinga/Aldinga Beach, Christies Beach, Clarendon, Flagstaff Hill and Hackham. Covering just over 518km2, the region was home to close to 167,000 people in Census 2016.

Home solar power installations are a very common site in the LGA, with the Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI) estimating approximately 37.2% of dwellings have solar panels installed. Many businesses have also joined the PV revolution, and the largest commercial solar installation in the region is a 1.8 MW system at Colonnades shopping centre in Noarlunga.

Council has also jumped on the solar power bandwagon, with 24 of its buildings already harvesting the energy of the sun. The next rollout will see it triple its existing PV capacity, with up to 1,250 more solar panels installed.

A 100kW system will be installed on the rooftop of Noarlunga Civic Centre and Council Chambers, the Field Operations Centre at Seaford Meadows will get a 120kW installation, and the Woodcroft Community Centre an 89kW system. The installations will be carried out between June and September.

The cost of the project is estimated at $437,000, with the systems expected to deliver annual electricity bill savings of $81,060 – so simple payback will be achieved in well under 6 years.

Past this latest rollout, there will be more solar capacity to come. Council intends to continue its pursuit of PV and is currently assessing the potential of other buildings to host solar power systems.

Climate Change A Pressing Concern For Onkaparinga

As well as solar power and other energy efficiency initiatives slashing electricity costs, the City of Onkaparinga sees great value in the contributions towards emissions reductions. It was the first South Australian Council to join the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership; a network of more than a hundred Australian councils committed to tackling climate change.

Even prior to joining the CPP, the City was on the front foot concerning climate change and carbon emissions. Council began measuring its corporate emissions in 1998 and in 2008 commissioned a study to understand the risks climate change will pose to the area’s 31km of coastline. The City of Onkaparinga is also a partner in the “Resilient South” initiative, which is taking a regional approach in implementing climate change adaptation in southern Adelaide.

Through its various actions, the City says its corporate emissions in 2017-18 were 9,369 tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2e) – a reduction of 38% since 2010-11. That’s a pretty impressive effort given the LGA’s population grew by around 7,000 between Census 2011 and 2016.

“As our population increases, this puts pressure on our emissions, but we can continue to keep working on reducing the carbon intensity of the services that we provide,” states Council.

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.

Comments

  1. I live in the City of Onkaparinga. Will it help to lower our own council rates with the council spending our hard earned money?

    Does the council encourage homeowners to invest in solar and subsidise new solar installs similar to what the Adelaide City Council was or is still doing?

    Cheers,
    John

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