Blacktown City Council is undertaking a massive solar energy project installing more than 1800 solar panels across 16 sites.
The 1876 panels will be installed on a range of Council buildings including leisure and aquatic centres, libraries, childcare and community centres. 627 solar panels will be installed on the roof of the Blacktown Leisure Centre, Stanhope.
The additional 707kW solar generation will more than double council’s current capacity of rooftop solar on its buildings and save $170,000 in energy costs per year.
Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said, “In February, Council acknowledged that we are in a state of climate emergency and we committed to a target of 100 per cent renewable electricity for Council operations by 2025.
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“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 project is currently Australia’s largest rooftop solar Power Price Agreement (PPA) installation whereby the system is paid, installed and operated by a single solar provider, in this case ‘Solar Professionals’.
Solar Professionals Managing Director Daniel Kimber said, “This is a significant project for both Solar Professionals and Blacktown City Council, and we’re excited to be partnering with Council to deliver their 700kW solar installation”.
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“The economic and environmental benefits of this landmark solar project will benefit Blacktown City Council for years to come”.
Under the project, the first of its kind for local government in Australia, Blacktown City Council makes no upfront payments with costs included in the ten-year PPA.
The PPA reduces the need to pay network and other ancillary costs normally attributed to power from the grid and after 10-years the solar panels become the property of Council.
Blacktown City Council worked closely with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Sustainable Government team in business case development, procurement and contractual arrangements for the project.
“This rooftop solar installation project reduces Council’s electricity use by nearly 3% per year, reduces Council’s power bill by $170,000 per year and reduces CO2 emissions by 563 tons per year, equivalent to 2,246,658 kilometres in a small car – truly a win, win, win,” said Mayor Bleasdale.