Origin zeroes in on Australia’s largest theme park PV system


Rides and attractions at Queensland’s Dreamworld are set to be powered by solar energy with Origin Energy business unit Origin Zero announcing that it has completed the installation of a 708 kW PV system at the Gold Coast theme park.

The system includes more than 2,000 solar panels and 13 inverters and is expected to generate an estimated 21% of the park’s annual electricity usage. The panels will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 198 houses for a year and will reduce the park’s carbon footprint by an estimated 920 tonnes in the first year.

Origin Zero General Manager of Business Development and Advisory Liam McWhirter said the company had collaborated with Dreamworld’s parent company, Coast Entertainment Holdings, formerly Ardent Leisure, to design a system that best satisfies the theme park’s energy requirements.

“Dreamworld’s energy use is heaviest during the day, which makes the theme park perfectly placed to reap the benefits of solar, particularly when you consider Queensland weather,” he said.

“We’ve worked closely with Dreamworld to understand their business and utilise data and insights to identify the right solutions to suit their energy needs and ambitions.”

Origin said the initial elements of the project are now fully installed with the system due to commence operation by April.

Coast Entertainment Director of Commercial and Facilities, Dwayne Clark, said the company had been exploring the best avenues to reduce its environmental footprint at Dreamworld and the new solar installation marks a significant step in that process.

“Given our location and the space we have on site to maximise solar solutions, it became a simple decision for our business as we identified the longer-term reduction in energy costs far outweighed the upfront installation cost of the solar panels, as well as having a significant environmental benefit,” he said.

Other Origin Zero national business projects currently in the pipeline include 25 solar system and smart energy dashboard installs at JB Hi-Fi east coast stores, offsetting more than 342 tonnes of carbon, and 20 MW of solar panels on 100 Coles supermarket stores, plus battery energy storage systems, connected to Origin’s in-house virtual power plant (VPP) to enable demand management.

Author: Ev Foley

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: editors@pv-magazine.com.