Car dealership installs Australia’s largest private solar station

Llewellyn Motors' rooftop solar power station

Llewellyn Motors in Ipswich, Queensland, has used its massive roof real estate to create the country’s largest privately-owned 1232-panel, 332kW solar power station.

Llewellyn’s general manager James Sturgess told Queensland Times that, while there were still minor negotiations to be finalised with Energex and the state government regarding the feeding of power back into the grid, the system had already saved the business about $7000 in power costs since it was switched on in October.

“Basically this takes care of half our energy needs,” Mr Sturgess said.

“The model we’ve put together is for this system to be cash flow positive from day one. We’ve been able to achieve 90 per cent of our target straight away, and that’s taking into account a few rainy days.”

Planet Ark Power executive director Richard Romanowski said the key to the Llewellyn Motors’ system was the way it used new technology to feed power to the grid. Planet Ark Power has developed dSTATCOM technology, which monitors the power requirements of the grid and scales the site’s output to match.

The system uses a smart battery that determines the optimal time to sell energy into the grid, creating income for Llewellyn Motors and reducing demand on the grid.

“This system is going to save them thousands of dollars a month,” Mr Romanowski said.

“The key is in the way the smart battery reduces the customer’s demand charges; it’s a battery plus software.”

Planet Ark Power expects the system will reduce the dealership’s carbon footprint by 8400 tonnes and save more than $2 million in electricity costs over the next 20 years.