The 707 kW multi-roof project – undertaken by Australian-based commercial solar installation and service company Solar Professionals, utilising solar modules provided by Risen Energy – was completed on October 9. The project was announced in August 2020.
Solar Professionals managing director Daniel Kimber told pv magazine Australia the project is the biggest PPA the company has completed and the largest in Australia involving local government.
“We’ve been doing PPAs for five years now and it’s definitely not the first council we’ve done one with, it’s more just the size that makes it unique,” he said. “It is the biggest PPA the company has undertaken.”
Kimber said the project was also a significant step for Blacktown City Council.
“The economic and environmental benefits of this landmark solar project will benefit Blacktown City Council for years to come,” he said.
There was no financial outlay for the council with costs included in the 10-year PPA with Solar Professionals. Council also avoids all network and other ancillary costs normally associated with grid power and at the end of the initial agreement ownership of the solar panels will revert to council.
The install more than doubles the council’s current capacity of rooftop solar and is expected to help reduce the council’s electricity use by nearly 3% per annum and cut its power bill by an estimated $170,000 per year.
Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale said the initiative, which features solar panels distributed across 16 sites, including leisure and aquatic centres, libraries, and childcare and community centres, would also reduce CO2 emissions by 563 tons per year.
“In February … we committed to a target of 100% renewable electricity for council operations by 2025,” Bleasdale said. “Council is also committed to working towards an aspirational target of net zero carbon emissions for the community by 2040.
“Doubling our solar generation capacity will contribute greatly to meeting those targets by increasing our use of solar electricity and reducing emissions.”
The PV modules for the project were sourced from China-based manufacturer and project developer Risen Energy, which owns the Merredin and the Yarranlea solar farms in Western Australia and Queensland respectively.
Kimber said because of the diversity of sites involved in the project both 330 W and 400 W panels were used with Risen Energy providing a 15-year warranty on their rooftop commercial modules.
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