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It's a solar city in Perth

8th Jul 2011

The economic and environmental benefits of solar energy choices have been embraced by Perth's Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council.

The Perth Solar City initiative was launched in 2009 and this year will see the final two of five major solar energy installations at iconic locations around the city.

Perth Zoo has a 90.9kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system, part of a two-stage project that will ultimately produce more than 120,000 kWh of energy per year for use by the zoo.

The $2.7 million project includes over 300 solar panels placed on eight zoo buildings.

The Central Institute of Technology has a 49kW solar PV installation and the Midland Railway Workshops has a 60kW solar PV installation.

In 2011 the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority will introduce sustainable design elements and a solar PV installation at the Kings Park Naturescape. And Perth Arena is to get a 111kW solar energy system later this year.

Overall these installations will generate over 500kW of grid connected solar energy.

A further 13 solar installations are planned for the eastern region of Perth, which are set to generate 860,000 kWh of clean energy per year. This is enough energy to power 140 homes for 30 years.

The local authority has also been running a competition to highlight the benefits of solar energy to the community.

Six finalists won a free home eco-consultation to assess their current energy habits and identify ways they can become more energy efficient, while one lucky family won a $50,000 home eco-makeover.

The Roberts family of High Wycombe are currently having their home transformed into a showcase energy efficient house.

Perth Solar City Manager Andrew Blaver said the Roberts family have won a suite of energy efficient products and services.

"We’ve seen a growing community interest in finding out how families can stop wasting energy and adopt more sustainable lifestyles," explained Mr Blaver.

The prize includes a premium 2.38kW solar PV system, a solar hot water system, a fully-installed smart meter and in-home display, a tailored energy coaching service, a lighting and water efficiency retrofit, roof insulation and whirly birds, new curtains and pelmets, a native garden makeover, a rainwater tank and other energy saving products and services.

The aim of Perth Solar City is to allow households to better manage their energy use, make cleaner, greener choices and save money. It is part of the Australian government Solar City initiative.

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