Solar To Help Cut Queensland Police Service Electricity Costs

Solar powered police stations in Queensland

Leanne Linard MP And Assistant Commissioner Brian Wilkins | Image : QPS

Solar panels to be rolled out on the rooftops of 40 police stations in Queensland will put a dent in QPS’s $13.5 million (and rising) annual electricity spend.

In December last year, the Queensland Police Service embarked on its Energy Optimisation Plan. The EOP seeks to address QPS’s rapidly increasing electricity costs, which were forecast to balloon out to $20 million a year by 2020 in a business-as-usual scenario.

The EOP  is expected to shave up to $1 million a year off QPS’s power bills. PV will play a key role in achieving these savings, with the solar power systems  to generate approximately a quarter of the electricity used by each station involved.

Early last week, Member for Nudgee Leanne Linard and Acting Assistant Commissioner for Brisbane Region, Brian Wilkins, visited Hendra Police Station to congratulate QPS on its efforts.

Also last week, Member for Logan Linus Power and Organisational Capability Command Assistant Commissioner Allan McCarthy attended Jimboomba Police Station to view its PV project, the first station in South-East Queensland to have panels installed. Jimboomba is in Logan City, south of the Brisbane metropolitan area.

“Not only is the project delivering significant costs savings to the Service, but it also reduces carbon emissions, represents socially responsible investment, and aligns with Queensland Government priorities of becoming a greener state,” said Assistant Commissioner McCarthy of the EOP.

Mr. McCarthy also praised the championing of staff ideas – in this case, those of Senior Sergeant Greg Rynne; who advocated for a review of QPS’s electricity use and was involved with developing the EOP.

In comments made to the North Queensland Register, Mr. Power stated the project was a win-win:

“I’d love to get (federal energy minister) Josh Frydenberg here to show some of the good projects which are actually making budget savings,” he said.

The Energy Optimisation Program also includes LED lighting upgrades, battery storage, optimising tariffs, power factor correction, upgrading various systems and dealing with air-conditioner setting practices.

Other Police Stations In Australia With Solar Power

Outside of Queensland, other police stations have gone solar – although it seems they are few and far between.

According to the SunWiz database, a 26.1kW rooftop solar power system was installed at Netley Police Station in Adelaide in 2014, consisting of 102 solar panels.

Netley police station - solar PV

Solar Panels On Netley Police Station | Image: Google Earth

There’s also a 45kW system at Carnarvon Police and Justice Complex in Western Australia and a 15kW array at Waurn Ponds Police Station and SES Complex in Victoria.

With so many police stations across the country, these are a rooftop resource that could be better tapped for the generation of solar electricity – and perhaps QPS’s rollout will encourage police services in other states to follow suit.

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. Police stations use locally built cars and should use locally built solar panels.

    Government buildings should be banned from having imported solar panels on the roof – thus giving a boost to the Tindo solar panel factory.

    (No I do not work for Tindo)

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