RACV On The Road To More Renewables

RACV - solar power and other renewables

The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria has committed to powering all its Victorian clubs, resorts and office buildings with 100% renewables from the beginning of next year.

This is being achieved through the installation of solar panels at RACV sites and sourcing 21 gigawatt-hours of renewables-based electricity a year from Snowy Hydro owned Red Energy under a power purchase agreement (PPA).

RACV has already made a start on solar installations, with more than 1,640 solar panels at its Torquay resort and close to 2,000 modules on the roof of  its Noble Park office.

I couldn’t find any more information on the Noble Park installation, but the Torquay project is a 510kW system installed by Gippsland Solar that was completed and commissioned last month. Given the coastal location, Gippsland Solar chose Winaico solar panels for their tolerance to high winds and salt-mist.

More Solar Energy Planned

Other sites that will have power systems in Victoria include RACV resorts in Cobram, Healesville and Cape Schanck. Beyond the border, its Hobart, Royal Pines (QLD) and Noosa (QLD) resorts will also have PV installed over the next two years. Capacities of those systems wasn’t mentioned.

The solar systems plus other energy efficiency initiatives including switching to LED lighting and upgrading inefficient air-conditioning systems at resorts across Australia and corporate sites in Victoria are expected to slash RACV’s annual mains grid energy usage by 8,000 megawatt hours and carbon emissions by 9,000 tonnes.

“We’re delighted that the remainder of the electricity we use in Victoria will come from hydro, solar and wind power supplied by Red Energy,” said RACV Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Neil Taylor.

What wasn’t mentioned is whether the cost of that green electricity will be cheaper under the five-year contract – but we’re increasingly seeing these arrangements providing a better deal on energy for various organisations. An example is City of Sydney’s recent agreement with Flow Power that will save the City an estimated half a million dollars a year through electricity sourced from wind and solar energy facilities in New South Wales.

The RACV isn’t the only automobile club to install solar to help power its operations, but it may well lead the pack – putting a bit of pressure on the others to follow suit.

RACV Supporting Electric Vehicle Uptake

In other somewhat related recent news, RACV, NRMA, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT announced last month an investment in Chargefox for the construction of ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging stations at 21 locations around Australia, all of which will be entirely powered by renewable energy.

The investment is being made through Australian Motoring Services Pty Ltd (AMS), which is wholly owned by the Mobility Clubs of Australia and consists of the parties mentioned above. The venture is also receiving $6 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

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. Brodie Bott says

    Hello Michael, we installed 600kW at our Noble Park office and added EV chargers to the building as well. – Jesco d’Alquen, GM Energy at RACV

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