A Sydney car dealership has tapped CEFC funding to install a 100kW rooftop solar system and LED lighting – measures that are expected to cut the 50 year-old business’s energy consumption by 60 per cent.
Col Crawford Lifestyle Cars used a $320,000 Energy Efficient Loan – an initiative of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Commonwealth Bank – to help fund the installation of the 380-panel solar array and more than 1,000 LED lights at its Brookvale facility; the first stage of the 50 year-old business’s low-carbon transformation.
The project – designed and installed by local NSW company Autonomous Energy – has been described by the installer’s Director, Mark Gadd, as “genuinely ground-breaking,” with around half of the solar panels integrated into a solar car park shading structure.
Phase two of the nearly $1 million project will include the installation of another 600-odd solar panels and more LED lighting to four other buildings, and is set to be completed in two months’ time.
Once completed, Autonomous Energy estimates the annual electricity savings achieved through the solar and lighting upgrades will be equivalent to the energy needs of 200 houses.
On a blog on the company’s website, the company said the Brookvale solar PV system alone would be able to produce over 370000kWh p.a – approximately 35 per cent of the energy consumed there.
“On top of this we have undergone numerous LED Lighting upgrades on our buildings saving us over 290,000 kWh p.a. In total we will reduce our overall consumption by approx. 660,000 kWh which is roughly a 60% reduction in our total use. This is the equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by 63 average Australian households.”
CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said in a statement on Thursday that solar and energy efficiency had the potential to benefit a wide range of commercial activities, and make a real and positive difference to businesses’ bottom lines.
“Car dealerships are a presence right across the Australian economy, and investments such as the innovative solar and LED lighting project by Col Crawford make very good business sense for car dealers, while contributing to reduced emissions,” Yates said.
Col Crawford Lifestyle Cars Managing Director Stephen Crawford said the lighting upgrade and solar installation demonstrated that “going green simply makes good business sense”.
“The car manufacturers we work with have been working tremendously hard over some decades now to build green cars, from currently available hybrid vehicles to full electric cars,” he said. “I see that the buildings in our dealership can evolve in a similar way, using energy in a sustainable, non-polluting way.”