The New South Wales Shoalhaven City Council says it has slashed its annual electricity bill by $12,500, with the installation of an 81kW rooftop solar system on the city’s Entertainment Centre in Nowra.
The 200-panel system was completed at the start of this month by local contractor Simmark using LG panels and SMA inverters.
It is expected to generate around 112,000kWh of renewable electricity a year, and cut the grid power consumption of the Entertainment Centre by 20 per cent, while also helping Council to meet its 2050 goal of net-zero emissions.
“The Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre was an ideal building for this project, given its large daytime electricity consumption, extended opening hours and its large roof space,” said Mayor Amanda Findley.
“Once commissioned … (it will) reduce electricity consumption of the Entertainment Centre by around 20 per cent per year, resulting in an annual saving of $12,500 for Council.
The solar generation will also cut 91 tons of carbon emissions a year, Findley said.
“As we move another step closer to our 2050 target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, I hope this will encourage other residents and businesses to take up solar installations on their premises,” the Mayor said.
Shoalhaven has a history of embracing solar, with local outfit Repower Shoalhaven using a community funding model to install PV at the Nowra Bowling club, a local dairy farm and a timber yard. The businesses do not pay for the system, but do pay the solar power they use.
In 2016, it had notched up $495,000 in community investment to fund a total of 325kW of solar on local business rooftops.
The shire also took part in a 2018 state government scheme that offered low income households the option to exchange their annual energy bill deduction for a 2.5kW rooftop PV system.