Solar-powered south

Published on 21 May 2019

Solar PV panels

They’re three of the City of Onkaparinga’s highest energy-consuming sites – the Noarlunga Civic Centre and Council Chambers, council’s Field Operations centre at Seaford Meadows, and the Woodcroft Community Centre.

Soon, workers will be on their rooftops, installing up to 1,250 solar panels that are expected to save over $80,000 per year and reduce council’s footprint by 33 tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide) annually.

“This project will triple the amount of solar installed by council,” says Director City Operations, Kirk Richardson.

“It demonstrates City of Onkaparinga’s commitment to environmental sustainability and responding and adapting to climate change, with a number of council’s other sites being earmarked for future solar installations.

“It also represents another step in the reduction of our low-carbon city’s footprint, adding to the 30% drop in our emissions from 2010 to 2017-18.”

Installation is expected to commence in mid-June and it’s estimated the project, which costs $437,000, will deliver an annual saving of $81,060, meaning it’ll pay for itself within six years.

It comes in the wake of another council project that is helping deliver a significant reduction in emissions.

Our 2018 changeover of approximately 12,250 street lights to 14-watt LED technology will likely deliver annual savings of up to $600,000 and a reduction of 2,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

But the council’s latest solar project is just one part of the renewables story in the south.

In early 2019, Vicinity Centres laid and connected nearly 5,000 solar panels at Colonades Shopping Centre, with the 1.8 megawatt system being our region’s largest commercial installation.

The City of Onkaparinga council area also has a higher overall proportion of residential solar installations at 36.8%, compared to the rest of the state at 30%.

In fact, Morphett Vale/Woodcroft was the top postcode in SA for household solar installations in 2017 and 2018, and more than 50% of our rural areas are now powered by the sun!

If you’re interested in switching to solar power, visit the Renewable energy page at our website.