Solar

PV System Fit for Queen

The opening of Australia’s largest inner city solar project represents the future of Australia’s power industry, according to the Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE).

Melbourne, Australia – April 8, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The Melbourne City Council has installed 200 kW of solar PV panels on the roof of the Queen Victoria Markets in the city. The panels will provide approximately 30 percent of the market’s electricity requirements, equivalent to the annual electricity requirements of 63 average homes. The project was supplied and installed under a joint venture between Origin Energy and BP Solar. Origin Energy as the incumbent retailer is providing the Council with a competitive buy-back plan for excess energy generated by the panels and energy efficiency audits significantly improving the economics of the project. The solar PV panels will generate power for at least the next 30 years. “Melbourne City Council is to be congratulated for undertaking this showcase project,” said BCSE Executive Director Ric Brazzale. The system includes a display which shows shoppers at the market how much electricity the panels are generating at any time and how much greenhouse gas emissions it has saved. While solar PV has been used extensively in remote Australia, there remains huge potential in the inner city. In urban locations solar systems are connected directly to the electricity grid. “Globally, the grid-connected solar market has grown at around 65 percent per year for the last five years,” said Brazzale. “There is no reason why Australia shouldn’t see similar growth. Almost every roof in Australia is a potential site for a solar PV system. With electricity generation accounting for around 35 percent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions it is important that we shift to clean sources such as solar.” Australia already has more than 1000 people employed in the solar industry and has developed some of the world’s leading technologies. The Federal Government Program that supports solar PV is due to end this year and unless it is continued the number of solar systems that are installed in Australia will likely stall. “This project must be just the beginning,” said Brazzale. “With our abundance of sun we have a great opportunity to utilize this exciting renewable technology.”