Another Solar Rollout For Central Coast Council

More solar for Central Coast Council

Image source: Central Coast Council

New South Wales’ Central Coast Council will be saving bigger bucks on electricity through the installation of thousands more solar panels across its assets.

Council is in the process of installing an additional 1.2 MW of PV capacity, rolling out 3,500 solar panels on the rooftops of 28 Council-owned buildings. This will result in mains grid electricity consumption slashed by 1.4 GWh annually and save a further $200,000 a year; as well as avoiding 1,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum.

“It is rewarding to see a project underway which not only reduces Council expenses but also incorporates renewable energy for the conservation, protection and remediation of our environment,” said Mayor Lisa Matthews.

Part of the funding for the new project has come from money that was collected at Woy Woy Tip under the repealed Federal Government “carbon tax”.

Central Coast Council’s first big solar push was back in 2015/16 when 1,700 solar panels totaling 455 kW capacity were installed at various facilities including Central Coast Stadium,  Somersby Water Treatment Plant and Peninsula Leisure Centre.

Council has also been utilising solar energy in other ways – including to power vehicle activated speed signs that alert approaching motorists to their current speed in real time. Other applications include solar lighting and a solar powered waste compactor system, Bigbelly Bin, which has the capacity of up to five times that of conventional bins.

Central Coast Council’s other home-brewed energy projects involve gas extraction and electricity generation facilities at its landfill sites. More than 30 gigawatt- hours of electricity is produced each year from the three sites.

Solar On The Central Coast

Approximately 17.9% of compatible dwellings in the Central Coast LGA had solar power systems installed as at September last year according to the Australian Photovoltaic Institute; against a NSW average of 20% at that time.

Looking at Gosford, solar panels are popular among households and businesses, with more than 5,373 small-scale (<100kW)  systems installed for a collective capacity of 27.5MW as at the end of May this year. In Wyong, more than 6,786 small-scale solar systems had been installed by the end of May.

It’s certainly worthwhile for Central Coast households to look into harnessing solar energy to slash their power bills and carbon footprint. According to SQ’s solar calculator and using the default settings, a 6.6kW system installed in Gosford can have a simple payback period of under 4 years.

You can find a list solar installers in the SolarQuotes network who serve the Central Coast region here.

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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