Blacktown City Council has installed a 50 kilowatt grid-connected solar electricity system at their Works Depot. The system, consisting of 276 photo-voltaic (PV) modules, is expected to feed an estimated 60 megawatt hours per year of electricity back into the grid, and save 70 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually. Blacktown Solar City is one of seven Solar Cities funded by the Australian Government under the Solar Cities initiative. The Solar Cities program is a partnership between governments, industry, businesses and local communities to trial sustainable energy solutions. Since its launch in July 2007, Blacktown Solar City has contributed to an estimated $3 million in electricity savings to the residents of the Blacktown Local Government Area and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 17,500 tonnes CO2-e.
To date Solar Cities has seen over 4,500 kilowatts of PV installed within Australian communities and 20,000 smart meters installed in Australian homes.
The commercial PV installation is an example of how the Government’s $94 million Solar Cities program demonstrates the economic and environmental benefits associated with the concentrated up-take of renewable energy technologies, such as solar PV. The Solar Cities initiative is providing information on the benefits and barriers to energy efficiency and renewable energy within Australian communities.
The data being collected from the Solar Cities trials will inform future policy work and will also be provided to industry to encourage uptake of similar measures within their businesses.
Each Solar City offers a range of solar and energy efficiency products and services within their communities, including:
- energy efficient appliance and lighting installations
- home energy audits that recommend energy saving actions
- solar photovoltaic and solar hot water installations
- various pricing offers that encourage sustainable energy use, and
- educational campaigns that engage local communities on energy sustainability issues.
With offers like that, don’t you wish you lived in a Solar City?
Further information about Solar Cities program is available at www.climatechange.gov.au/solarcities