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Blacktown City Council is committed to addressing climate change for the benefit of current and future generations. As a result, they highlighted opportunities to reduce their carbon emissions further and to become a more sustainable city. One of these opportunities included the installation of solar power at a number of their facilities including the Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre Emerton; Blacktown Leisure Centre Stanhope; and Blacktown Aquatic Centre. These sites were identified as prime for solar due to their high use of electricity in order to heat and filter the swimming pools and run the facilities as well as their large amount of available roof space.
After a rigorous tender process, Solgen Energy Group was awarded the solar engineering, procurement and construction of these 3 sites for a combined system size of 411kW. Together the systems will produce 644MWh of electricity annually, offset 689 tonnes of carbon emissions annually and significantly reduce the council’s electricity costs which can then be spent on other avenues.
Each site was carefully analysed to ensure the optimal system was installed. For example, the building at the Blacktown Aquatic Centre was over 70 years old with a very unusual roof profile. This meant that special clips had to be sourced in order to attach the solar panels to the roof without damaging the roof. It also required the removal of an old solar hot water system to then install the panels successfully.
|Client:||Blacktown City Council|
|Location:||Western Sydney, NSW|
|Date completed:||November, 2017|
|Combined solar system peak capacity:||411kW|
|Panels:||Trina Mono 290W and Tallmax|
Similarly, the Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre had a sawtooth roof, which mean each roof was very steep with the potential for shading to become a problem. As a result, Solgen suggested the use of larger panels with higher output to maximise production given the limited roof space.
The Blacktown Leisure Centre had multiple curved roofs, which is where their basketball stadiums were located, this meant a high amount of coordination for our operations team as panels could not simply be placed on the roof to then be installed in one batch. It also meant that a crane could not be used to transport materials to this portion of the roof as they would not be stable. As a result, the team were required to manually transport each panel to the roof and install to ensure we kept to our strict OH&S requirements. After the tender had been awarded, the Council was interested in the future expansion of the solar capacity at this site from 200kW to 400kW, which meant our engineering team had to redesign the initially proposed system to ensure this would be possible.
Our installation team were also required to work around the operations of the centres such as school swimming carnivals and athletics as well as the long operational hours of each centre, which meant that all shutdowns had to be scheduled at midnight. Despite these challenges, our team delivered the project to its full with the client very satisfied with our coordination and the quality of the system installed.
The implementation of 411kw across the three facilities is expected to: