One of Australia’s top solar postcodes, the Western Australia City of Mandurah, will soon save around $73,000 a year on it’s local government power bill through the installation of a 200kW solar system at its sports and aquatic centre.
The local paper reported this week that the city’s council voted in favour of putting $175,000 in local government funding towards the $375,000 project at the Mandurak Aquatic and Recreation Centre.
The installation of the solar system, which is part of stage five of the City’s Solar Plan, is expected to cover 20 per cent of the facility’s energy demand, while also earning tradable renewable energy certificates for every megawatt hour of energy the 200kW array produces.
According to the Mandurah Mail, the sale of the RECs alone are expected to generate an income stream for the local government of more than $27,000 a year.
The MARC installation joins nine others on council-owned buildings, including the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Administration Building, the Merlin Street Pavilion, the Meadow Springs sport facility, the Small Business Centre, the Marina Operations Centre and the Falcon eLibrary among others.
Solar panels have also been installed by the City in two leased buildings, Rushton Park and the Mandurah Bowling and Recreation Club, resulting in a reduction of 303 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and savings of $117,630.
Mandurah also boasts a huge uptake of solar among the city’s households and small businesses. In April, the Australian Photovoltaic Institute, using data from the Clean Energy Regulator, ranked it third in the nation’s top 10 solar hotspots, with an uptake of small-scale solar systems (less than 10kW) at 35 per cent and a total installed capacity of 23.5MW.
Indeed, all of WA, as we reported here this week, is adding rooftop solar at a record rate, allowing the state to overtake South Australia with a total installed amount of 771MW. This is despite the price of electricity being subsidised (up to one-third of the true cost) by the state government, which owns all the infrastructure but now finds itself unable to balance the budget because of it.
“The implementation of this (MARC) project will also demonstrate the City’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by driving and sustaining action on climate change,” said City of Mandurah officer Karin Wittwer, in comments on Wednesday.
“It will also help mitigate against probable future increases in the cost of conventional electricity supply.”