New South Wales courthouses will soon be host to new solar power installations, as part of a $1.8 million roll-out that will cut energy costs and the emissions footprint of the state’s judicial buildings.
NSW attorney-general Mark Spearman said the program would fund the installation of solar projects at 23 courthouses across both metropolitan and regional townships.
“While the judicial process is taking place inside these buildings, solar panels on their rooftops will be hard at work as well, contributing to a cleaner environment and saving taxpayers’ money,” Speakman said.
“Courthouses in Stage 1 will generate an estimated 2,311MWh of electricity per year – enough to supply a significant proportion of the buildings’ power, reducing carbon emissions by the equivalent of 360 average residential households.”
Courthouses in Sydney that will host rooftop solar include Penrith, Parramatta, Bankstown, Waverley and Sutherland. Regional courthouses in Muswellbrook, Tamworth, Batemans Bay and Gosford will also be amongst those receiving solar.
The courthouses will receive rooftop solar through the program’s first stage, with some also set to receive battery storage installations and electric vehicle charging stations that support the roll-out of electric vehicles as part of the government’s own fleet.
The roll-out forms part of the NSW government’s larger strategy to reduce the government’s own emissions footprint, as well as contributing to achieving a target to cut the state’s overall emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.
NSW treasurer and energy minister, Matt Kean, said the roll-out was part of a broader effort of the NSW government to integrate rooftop solar onto government buildings, adding the courthouses to previous installations at public schools and hospitals – doubling the state government’s own solar generation capacity.
“It’s great to see courts joining schools, hospitals and other government buildings in the uptake of solar energy, which will help our State more than double our solar energy generation to 126,000 megawatt-hours by 2024,” Kean said.
“The NSW Government has the nation-leading policies and plans in place to reduce our emissions by embracing solar technologies, while upskilling and supporting local workers and businesses.”
In addition to the installation of rooftop solar, the NSW government will improve the energy efficiency of the courthouses through the installation of efficient LED lighting and the use of motion sensors to control lighting to reduce energy use.
The first solar installations are expected to start early next year and completed by June 2022, with the prospect of additional courthouses receiving solar installation in the next financial year.