Aged Care Organisation makes a change for the future

Warrigal is a community owned organisation which supports older people to create inspiring communities. With the growth of their range of facilities and services, their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions were also on the rise – something that was of concern to them as they believe that environmental sustainability is vital within an organisation. As a result, they set a target to reduce their 2014 greenhouse gas emission levels by 6% by 2020 with one of the initiatives to help achieve this target – solar energy.

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Powering Australia’s aged care sector with solar

Consequently, Solgen Energy Group was awarded the roll out of 425kW of rooftop solar across six of their Residential Care Homes starting with their site located at Goulburn and then continuing with their Bundanoon, Coniston, Warilla, Mt Warrigal and Albion Park Rail sites.

With an annual energy cost of over $160,000 in their Goulburn residential care home alone, this was identified as a priority site and the resulting 99kW system installed became the pilot project. It was deemed a success after the system produced 40MWh of energy and saved the facility $8000 in energy bills within the first 3 months. This reduction at Goulburn alone reduced the organisation’s overall emissions by 2.25% and being a not-for-profit, this money saved was then put back into the organisation to be used to improve the services that they provide to the community.

Solar power project details

Client: Warrigal
Location: Various, NSW
Date completed: June, 2017
Solar system peak capacity: 425kW combined
Panels:  Trina Honey 290W
Inverters: SMA Sunny Tripower

Following this installation, work then began on the other five sites with Warrigal particularly impressed with our engineering capabilities and project management experience for these sites. When work began, there were a number of iterations that were requested to the drawings and engineering design for each site. However, with our exceptional project management team and in-house engineering capabilities, these iterations were turned around accurately and efficiently which gave the client the flexibility to have a truly customised solution and peace-of-mind in our ability to provide a first-class solution.

The construction itself was a smooth process with the least disruption possible held to the highest WH&S standards and all installations ran to schedule and budget to fit in with the busy end of financial year. Being fully operational sites at the time of installation, safety was of the utmost concern with comprehensive safety briefings conducted at every site, which is unusual considering the relatively low roof level and amount of equipment used in general was minimal.

On a whole, Warrigal are extremely pleased with the results and conduct of Solgen Energy Group. The systems that have been put in place should see that by the end of 2017, all of Warrigal’s Residential Care Homes will be generating clean, renewable energy via solar and will have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 15% – more than double their initial target and before 2020. To put this in perspective, this reduction will have the same effect as taking 134 cars off the road for every year the systems are in production.

As a result of their numerous sustainability initiatives Warrigal have also been named as a Gold Partner under the NSW Government’s Sustainability Advantage program. Run by the Office of Environment and Heritage, this has been designed to assist organisations across NSW to achieve increased competitiveness and improved bottom line results through better environmental practices. There are only 13 organisations across NSW that have achieved Gold Sustainability Status, with Warrigal being the only aged care provider in this group.

Benefits

The installation of 425kW of photovoltaic systems is expected to:

  • Reduce Warrigal’s greenhouse gas emissions by 15%
  • Offset almost $40,000 in electricity bills annually.
  • Generate an estimated 623MWh per year

To enquire about how solar can facilitate your business, contact our energy consultants today.

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