The Shire of Corowa in New South Wales’ Riverina region is now powering a majority of its local government buildings and facilities with more than 700,000kWh a year of solar power, after successfully installing 416kW of solar PV across 14 council sites.
The ambitious rural project was put to tender by the council in April 2014 and later awarded to Harelec Services, which designed and installed all 14 systems using varying configurations of Renesola 250W polycrystalline panels.
Practical completion of the project was achieved before in June 2014, with all systems connected and generating power before June 30.
Smart generation software was also delivered at all sites, with connection to a central web portal, and
a LCD display at the Corowa Civic Centre, which hosts one of the largest single PV installations – a 100kW rooftop array.
Other large installations included 100kW ground-mounted systems at both the Corowa and Mulwala Water Filtration Plants, and a 50kW ground-mounted system at the Mulwala Sewerage Treatment Plant.
At the time of system design, Harelec projected that the annual production of the 14 systems would be 638,886kWh, but in the first 12 months after practical completion, Harelec says actual production has been put at 711,033kWh annually.
“This has been a major project for Corowa Shire Council and the community, who have been working to achieve cost savings through energy efficiency improvements,” said the Council in a statement.
“A key focus of Council has also been to reduce its carbon footprint across the Shire, which is expected to be in the vicinity of a 575 tonne annual reduction. The savings made as a result of the project have enabled the council to implement other community priorities which otherwise would not have been achievable.”