Wakefield House, City of Onkaparinga’s positive ageing centre in Morphett Vale, is the latest council-owned building to get a green upgrade, with this new solar carpark shade structure set to slash annual energy bills by $7500 and reduce the building’s annual carbon footprint by 14 tonnes of CO2e.
Produced in partnership with Lonsdale company PVDynamics, it’s believed the pilot project is South Australia’s first solar carpark shade at a community building.
The 22kW 54-panel system adds to the centre’s existing 6kW rooftop system, and is part of council’s Green Buildings Initiative, which aims to reduce energy and water use, waste and greenhouse gas emissions from all council-owned buildings over time to reduce its carbon footprint.
The project follows the recent installation of more than 1000 solar panels on council’s three highest-energy consuming sites, including Woodcroft Community Centre (City of Onkaparinga’s northern Green Hub demonstration site), through the initiative.
These three installations are expected to slash energy bills by $80,000 per year and reduce council’s footprint by 33 tonnes of CO2e.
Overall, council reduced its emissions by 42 per cent over the past decade by investing in energy-reduction projects such as these, while the City of Onkaparinga area has a higher overall proportion of residential solar installations at 43 per cent, compared to the rest of the state at 36 per cent.
City of Onkaparinga Green Buildings Officer Ryan Halyburton says the Wakefield House pilot project demonstrates council’s commitment to preparing and responding to climate change.
“Projects such as this, and the recent solar installation at Woodcroft Community Centre, help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and save money in the process,” he says.
“Unlike conventional solar panels, Wakefield’s panels are bifacial, meaning they generate electricity from above and below.
“Light reflected from the ground is captured, increasing their performance, and the structure is tilted at an angle to maximise solar generation.
“Additionally, most of the structure’s materials were manufactured locally and are made to be recycled at the end of their 25+ year lifecycle.”
Ryan says the work to reduce emissions continues, with solar panels to be installed at another five sites by the end of 2020, and a project to replace more streetlights with LEDs starting soon.
Head to City of Onkaparinga’s website to learn more about installing solar at your home.