As Australia’s first local government to receive 100% RES electricity supply, the Sunshine Coast Council has announced that its landmark solar project has saved $1.7 million in the first year of its operation, more than double the anticipated amount.
“The Sunshine Coast Solar Farm has saved council $1.7 million – more than double the amount we’d hoped for in the first year,” said Sunshine Coast Acting Mayor Tim Dwyer, noting that the ambitious project aims to save $22 million over 30 years.
The 15 MW Sunshine Coast Solar Farm, which started feeding electricity into the grid one year ago today, has generated more than 26,300 MWh of energy and saved more than 20,500 tonnes carbon emissions in 12 months.
In addition to being the first local government in the country to deliver a solar farm, the Council is planning to implement a six-month project in order to gather independent information from trusted experts on energy choices and share it with residents and businesses.
“We want to help our community learn how to reap maximum savings from their existing solar PV system, what renewable options are available, how to choose an energy provider and how to reduce their home’s energy usage,“ said Division 9 Councillor Steve Robinson.
The solar farm, featuring 57,000 Duomax PEG14 solar PV module from China’s Trina Solar, was built by Downer Group, without any assistance from either the Federal or State governments.
At the time of commissioning, the pioneering project aroused major interest of other local councils around Australia, and the latest figures may help them decide to follow in Sunshine Coast’s footsteps.
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Why are the paneld on columns set about 2.5 m above the ground?
Hi Dennis, it’s a good question and one that we’ll follow up with the developers. Once we have details we’ll pose them here!
Hi Dennis, Paul is spot on! Here is the response from the Sunshine Coast Council: All key components of the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm are raised above the 1:100 flood level with most at 4.2m as a measure to protect the solar farm infrastructure from potential flooding. The highest recorded flood level on the site was 3.4m in 1992.
This is due to the results from a comprehensive flood study, based on the most up-to-date information, which was undertaken by an industry leading consultancy in conjunction with council. The infrastructure solution developed was specifically tailored for cane land sites. Special attention was given to the mounting structure, electrical infrastructure, civil infrastructure, drainage and operational issues.
Looking at Google Satellite, the site seems to be surrounded by the Maroochy River. So probably to floodproof it.
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