Solar Car Park Latest PV Addition For Brimbank City Council

Solar installation for Brimbank Multideck car park

Brimbank Multideck car park (pre-solar panels)

A 250-space multi-level car park in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine is now cranking out clean electricity – part of a solar power rollout by Brimbank City Council.

The City of Brimbank is Melbourne’s second largest municipality and is located approximately from 20 kilometres from the CBD.

An 82kW solar power system on the top level of Brimbank Multi-Deck between George and Dawson Streets in Sunshine was recently switched on and is generating enough green energy to offset almost all the electricity used by the facility. Additionally, the PV array is also providing shade for 23 car parking spaces on the top level.

“This initiative will help Council achieve goals like sourcing 100 per cent renewable energy by 2021 for all Council buildings and streetlights,” said Brimbank Mayor, Cr Georgina Papafotiou. “Our target of 50 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2023 is also on track thanks to initiatives like this.”

Since the Brimbank Greenhouse Reduction Strategy 2013-2023 was adopted, Council states it has achieved a 32% reduction in emissions based on 2011 levels.

Saving Big Bucks With Solar Energy

Brimbank City Council kicked off a major solar rollout in 2016 that has seen solar panel installations on 34 Council buildings with a collective capacity close to 1 megawatt, which Council says is saving approximately $270,000 on electricity costs each year.

Climate Emergency Plan In The Works

Council declared a climate emergency in June last year and as part of its response, in July it committed to the purchase of 100 per cent renewable electricity for its large and small facilities plus street lights through the Local Government Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA).

Last month, Council endorsed the draft Brimbank Climate Emergency Plan 2020-2025 for community consultation, feedback on which can be provided until 26 February 2020.  Among the proposed actions, the draft plan states Council will  advocate for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target of 100% by 2030. Currently the Victorian RET is set at 50 per cent by 2030.

Council also plans to advocate for an accelerated and ‘just transition’ closure of Victoria’s remaining coal fired power stations and no new fossil fuel energy projects anywhere in Australia.

Under the draft plan, Brimbank City Council would also continue to promote business and community uptake of renewables (currently approximately 16.6% of dwellings have solar power systems installed), seek opportunities for community projects such as solar gardens and look into options for increasing uptake of electric vehicles.

Trivia: Sunshine’s largest rooftop solar installation appears to be  a 1.044MW solar power system on the rooftop of Sunshine Plaza, which generates the equivalent to approximately 45% of the shopping centre’s electricity requirements.

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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