More Solar Power For South Melbourne Market

Solar energy at South Melbourne Market

City of Port Phillip council has had an additional 612 solar panels installed on the rooftop of South Melbourne Market.

Due for completion last Friday, the new 200kW solar power system adds to an existing 32kW installation. It’s expected to generate 263,000 kWh of electricity each year and save Council more than $60,000 on mains electricity costs annually.

As well as saving on energy costs, the new array contributes towards sustainability at the market. Other efforts include composting using worms (vermicomposting) and recycling of glass, oil, polystyrene, plastic milk bottles and coffee cups.

The Market also has three solar-powered Big Belly Bins that greatly reduce volume of waste by compacting it. The bins send a message to the collector when full, saving wasted trips.

Mains water use at the site is reduced through rainwater harvesting and a 500,000 litre rainwater tank, with the water provided used for washdown applications, by florists and for flushing toilets.

Food waste from South Melbourne Market is minimised through an arrangement with SecondBite, which avoided 22,800 kilograms of fresh food from being discarded in the last financial year. SecondBite works with more than 1,200 community food programs across the country.

“The Council is working hard to create a sustainable Market for our local community and for future generations to enjoy,” said City of Port Phillip Mayor, Cr Dick Gross last month.

Owned and operated by City of Port Phillip, South Melbourne Market commenced operations in May 1867.

City Of Port Phillip’s Other Renewables Efforts

The new installation in South Melbourne adds to City of Port Phillip’s growing portfolio of PV; with 20 of its buildings now sporting solar panels. Among previous projects is a 172kW system installed on the rooftop of St Kilda Town Hall back in 2016. Other buildings with solar include libraries and community centres.

City of Port Phillip is also participating in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP). Led by City of Melbourne, the MREP is an initiative whereby a group of councils are collectively purchasing 88 GWh of electricity per year from Crowlands Wind Farm near Ararat. Between its on-site solar panels and the MREP, all of City of Port Phillip council operations-related electricity use is now covered by 100% renewables.

The City of Port Phillip local government area is one of the smallest municipalities in Victoria – just 21 square kilometres. However, it is the most densely populated; with more than twice the population density of the metropolitan Melbourne area average. Among its other suburbs are Albert Park, Balaclava and Elwood.

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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