Western Australia’s McGowan government has announced plans to roll out solar panels to more than 50 train and bus stations across the state’s capital of Perth, with more than 1,000kW of solar capacity expected to be installed by mid-2022.
Already solar panels have been installed across several major Perth train stations, including at the East Perth station, Rockingham station, and Currambine station. Work on installing solar at Murdoch and Bull Creek stations is also expected to be underway soon.
The government said eight bus stations had already had solar installed – at Booragoon, Kwinana, Morley, Victoria Park, James Street, Mirrabooka, Henley Brook, and Optus Stadium – while work was underway at the Leederville bus station.
The solar rollout, which will eventually see more than 1,000kW in PV capacity installed across the capital’s major public transport stations, is being funded with over $1.8 million allocated through the WA Recovery Plan, designed to support the state’s economy and local jobs in the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve allocated more than $1.8 million to rolling out solar panels across more than 50 train stations across Perth,” said Rita Saffioti, Western Australia’s Transport Minister.
“From East Perth to Rockingham, Bull Creek to Edgewater, we plan to install solar panels to improve energy efficiency, while also supporting local jobs and the local economy.
“Combined with our electric bus trial in Joondalup which is due to start next year, we’re trialling new technologies that will support local jobs and help make our public transport system more sustainable.”
The WA government announced back in July of 2020 that it would begin running Volvo all-electric buses along the busy Joondalup route, starting in 2022 and serving as the first step towards transitioning Perth’s 900-strong bus fleet from diesel to zero-emissions alternatives.
To begin with, the Volvo e-buses will be used along the Joondalup CAT service, a free bus loop that serves the central hub of the Joondalup town centre in Perth’s north, which includes a major shopping centre, the local hospital, and a campus for the Edith Cowan University.
“Trialling new, green technology is a great use of our public transport network, already one of the most environmentally friendly ways to get around Perth,” Saffioti said in June 2020.
“This is the first time we have trialled electric buses on a CAT route and I’m excited to see what commuters think about this new technology.”
The government said the solar installed across Perth’s bus and train stations – enough to power 360 homes a year – would be used to power lighting, ticket machines, signage, and driver facilities, as well as some lifts and escalators.
“I’m pleased Rockingham Train Station is benefiting from the installation of solar panels,” said Mark McGowan, WA Premier, who also happens to be the Member for Rockingham.
“This project is part of our plan to support local jobs and boost the economy through the COVID-19 pandemic.”