December 15th 2011
Solar Cities saves Islanders $900k
The Townsville Queensland Solar City project has saved Magnetic Island residents more than $900,000 on electricity bills, according to State Member for Townsville, Mandy Johnstone.
“Consumption levels are now 12 per cent below their peak, having returned to 2007 levels,” she said.
“In August this year alone, residents reduced their energy consumption by 8.5 per cent compared to the same time last year.
“The Townsville Solar City project led by Ergon Energy - is a major Queensland success story,” she said.
Ms Johnstone said the program aims to change customer behaviour to not only reduce their electricity bills but also reduce peak demand.
According to Ms Johnstone, 75 per cent of residents have taken part in the trial, which began in 2007, and have continued to reduce the amount of electricity they use on a daily basis.
“Successful implementation of the project has significantly delayed the need for network upgrades in the area,” she said.
“This has resulted in the $17 million investment required for an underwater sea cable to Magnetic Island to be deferred for eight years.
“Another benefit of the project includes the installation of 675kW of solar photovoltaic (pv) panels across the island generating the first gigawatt hour of renewable energy.
“This is enough to power a school of 1200 students for two years, so the systems have made a significant contribution to the electricity needs of local residents.
“Maximum demand is now 32 percent lower than projected levels, had the program not been implemented, and greenhouse gas savings are approximately 34,000 tonnes.”
Ms Johnstone said the mainland was also benefiting from the project.
“Last month the Energy Minister and I announced that work would start soon on the region’s largest solar project - a $2 million solar array on the roof of the Townsville RSL stadium.
“The 335kW PV system will produce approximately 1320kWh of energy per day, enough to supply somewhere between two thirds and all of the daytime use of the stadium, or up to half of the daily use.
“The Townsville Solar City project is a blueprint for how the State Government will optimise and roll out energy efficiency programs and initiatives right throughout Queensland.
The Townsville Queensland Solar City project is part of the Australian Government’s Solar Cities program and is supported by the State Government and Townsville City Council.
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