The City of Sydney has laid claim to the country’s largest rooftop solar installation after announcing plans to install a 1,250kWp (kilowatt peak) system across 30 sites within its boundaries over the next two years.
The City said Solgen Energy had won a $6 million contract to install solar photovoltaic panels, which it said would generate around 2 million kWh of electricity a year and provide 12.5 per cent of the electricity needs of its city properties. It said it would reduce 2,100 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year at an abatement cost of around $33/tonne, and would meet half of the targeted 8 per cent emissions reductions by 2030 from the development of solar.
Solgen beat off rival bids from Ingenero, NU Energy, RF Industries and SunPower, although a second tender was called after it was realised that solar PV prices had fallen so quickly that the city could easily beat its original deployment targets of between 800kWp and 1,000kWp.
The panels will be installed on buildings such as Town Hall House, the Redfern Oval grandstand, the Railway Square Bus Interchange, Sydney Park Pavilion, towns halls in Paddington, Redfern and Glebe, as well as libraries, community centres and council depots.
The solar energy will be augmented by the City’s plan to invest in trigeneration systems and fuel cells, further reducing its reliance on the grid, and avoiding the need for new coal-fired generation and network upgrades. It aims to source 30 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2030, and 70 per cent from cogen and trigen plants.
The largest building-based solar PV installations in Australia are at the University of Queensland (1,200kWp), and the Adelaide showgrounds (1,000kWp) – although these are mounted at a single location, rather than dispersed through the city.