Opal Aged Care rolls out 3.5 MW of rooftop solar


Opal Aged Care has launched an energy efficiency program with the goal to cut onsite grid electricity use by about 42% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.

As part of the program, it is installing more than 3.5 MW of solar panels at 54 of its properties across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

The energy efficiency program also includes upgrading lighting. In addition to energy saving, the new LED lights will provide a better quality of lighting and last up to five times longer than lighting technology previously used.

The program is being managed by C&I PV and energy efficiency specialist Verdia, and is expected to be complete by early next year.

As part of the project, Verdia has completed a series of trials at several properties to test technology and lighting quality and spoken to staff and residents to get feedback and make sure the new lighting was comfortable.

In just one facility, Opal Macquarie Place in Cameron Park New South Wales, where a 100 kW commercial solar system and 800 LED lights have been installed, the electricity costs will be reduced by about $53,000 a year. This means initial investment for the program will pay itself off in just over five years, Verdia calculates.

Recently, Verdia was contracted by Coca-Cola Amatil to roll out 3.5 MW of rooftop solar across its operations in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. The solar arrays are forecast to cut the company’s annual energy costs by up to $1.3 million and pay for itself in six to seven years.

An even bigger deal was unveiled earlier this year when Verdia agreed to deliver over 10 MW of rooftop solar for major shopping centre owner Stockland at nine sites in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

On the occasion, the company announced that it was assessing, developing or delivering over 130 MW of behind-the-meter solar at 350 sites across the country.

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