Sunshine Coast Solar Farm A 2018 National Federation Awards Winner

Sunshine Coast Solar Farm

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Solar Farm was announced the winner of the Environmental Leadership and Sustainability category at the National Federation Awards last Thursday.

The National Federation Awards are run annually by Local Government Professionals Australia. The body represents local government professionals, senior managers and emerging leaders of more than 500 local councils across Australia.

“To win the national award for environmental leadership and sustainability speaks to the very heart of what Sunshine Coast Council is all about and underpins our commitment to becoming Australia’s most sustainable region,” said Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson.

According to the facility’s live data page, the solar farm had generated 29,577.9 megawatt-hours of electricity as at early this morning.

“This game changing project has delivered day after day since it was switched on in July last year, to a tune of $1.7 million so far,” said Mayor Jamieson. “Every dollar we don’t spend on electricity is a dollar better used delivering the services and facilities our region needs.”

In July we reported the solar farm, which features Trina Solar panels and SMA inverters, had saved more than double the amount Council had hoped for in the facility’s first year of operation.

The project was constructed by Downer, which was also contracted to deliver initial operation and maintenance services.

Other recognition for the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm include a Planning Institute of Australia Award for planning excellence, the Wendy Chadwick Encouragement Award for innovation and the Local Government Managers Australia (Queensland) Award for Sustainability Excellence.

Sunshine Coast Lives Up To Its Name

As well as saving Council (and subsequently, ratepayers) a bundle of bucks, Sunshine Coast Solar Farm appears to be popular with residents of the region – as is solar power generally. Economic Development and Innovation Portfolio Councillor Stephen Robinson states forty per cent of households in the region have installed solar panels.

Across Queensland, the estimated percentage of dwellings with PV installations sits at around the 32.2% mark according to the Australian PV Institute (APVI).

APVI says solar power on Sunshine Coast dwellings is close to 41% (40.9%) saturation, with 45,266 <10kW installations representing a total installed capacity of 165,115kW (165.12MW). As well as residential PV, small commercial solar systems (10-100kW) have a significant presence, with 629 installations in place representing 12,212kW (12.21MW). APVI‘s figures indicate only one installation with a capacity 100kW+ – and that’s Sunshine Coast Solar Farm at 15MW. It should be noted that APVI’s information is somewhat dated, current as at 31 March, 2018.

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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