Sydney Park pavilion will be the first of 30 sites across central Sydney to have solar photovoltaic panels installed as part of a $4.3 million project by the City of Sydney to boost renewable energy. Once completed, the City’s project will be the largest building-mounted solar panel program in Australia, with a total peak electrical capacity of 1.25 megawatts (MW). The solar program is expected to reduce the City’s annual carbon pollution by as much as 2,250 tonnes. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the installation of solar across the City’s buildings was an important step in reaching its environmental goals. “We are committed to tackling climate change and driving down carbon pollution.

The City has one of the most ambitious targets of any government in Australia – a 70 per cent reduction in pollution and 30 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said. “The City is getting on with the job. These solar panels produce no pollution when generating electricity – unlike coal-fired power, which is responsible for 80 per cent of the city’s carbon pollution. “Energy produced locally through solar panels, other renewable energy, trigeneration and fuel cell systems reduce the need to spend billions of dollars on new coal-fired power stations and network upgrades, which are driving up household electricity bills.” The buildings that will receive solar power include: Paddington and Glebe Town Hall, Town Hall House, Redfern Oval grandstand, Railway Square bus interchange, as well as libraries, community centres and depots.

The City has already installed solar hot water and/or photovoltaic systems on 18 sites including libraries, community centres, depots and the historic Sydney Town Hall where 240 panels create a peak capacity of 48 kilowatts. The new program will increase the City’s solar electricity capacity to a peak of 1.35MW, with more than 5,500 solar panels on buildings across the local government area. When rolled out across the 30 sites, the solar panels will cover a combined area of more than 12,000 square metres – nearly twice the area of a regulation football field. Currently, the largest building-based photovoltaic installations in Australia are at the University of Queensland, with a peak capacity of 1,200 kW and Adelaide showground with 1,000 kWp. Allan Jones, the City’s Chief Development Officer, Energy and Climate Change said: “We have seen a seismic shift in the reduction in the cost of solar panels from two years ago when the City first proposed this project which at the time would have cost $10 million to install 0.75 megawatts.

“In addition, surplus power from the solar panels will be exported across the local electricity distribution network to other City buildings, using the trigeneration local electricity trading system, rather than being exported to the grid at much lower electricity wholesale prices. This will reduce the cost of reducing carbon pollution by a further 50 per cent.”

Source: The City of Sydney Council Website

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