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Alice Springs sizzles as a solar city

22nd Feb 2013

Alice Springs is in the spotlight as the Northern Territory town is making the most of its scorching sunshine with a number of solar ventures.

Last year, it was announced that the Araluen Arts Centre would be powered by solar panels, as part of the 'Alice Solar City' scheme.

This program was designed to facilitate the use of solar energy on a large scale through the Alice Springs area.

The conversion of the Araluen Arts Centre to solar would place Alice Springs with one of the highest levels of solar-generated electricity in Australia, at over three per cent per capita.

The solar PV system at the Araluen Arts Centre now covers over 1,000 square metres of their roof space, soaking up the sun all day, every day.

Other locations that have converted to solar power systems are the Crowne Plaza, Alice Springs Airport, Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre and the Uterne Solar Power Station.

The Araluen Arts Centre's conversion to solar power reduces electricity use by up to 50 per cent and slashes their energy bills. Even better, any excess power generated at the centre is fed back into the grid, helping to power other areas in Alice Springs.

In recent years, solar technology has become a lot more affordable and accessible, and as a bonus, the Araluen project ended up costing a lot less than expected. Because of this, two extra initiatives have come to life.

The currently generated power will be increased to 180 kilowatts and the Central Australian Aviation Museum will receive a 20 kilowatt rooftop system.

It seems that solar cities are fast becoming the way of the future. Other cities and countries - take note! Alice Springs serves as a great example of the effectiveness and growing popularity of solar power.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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