Solar initiative powers Coast towards sustainable future
  • Saturday 20 June 2009

The Sunshine Coast Council is the first local government authority in Australia to embrace new efficiencies in alternative energy through the installation of Sliver Cell solar panels on community buildings.

Council’s Environment Portfolio holder Keryn Jones said the new solar panels are now in place at the Lake Kawana Community Centre and the Caloundra Library and will be installed at the Glasshouse Mountains Visitor Information Centre over the next two week.

The installations represent a national first, as Sliver Cell solar panels are not yet commercially available,’’ Councillor Jones said.

“These solar panels offer greater generation and raw material efficiencies than those currently available commercially,” Cr Jones said.

“Together, the three installations are equivalent to taking 15 cars off the road for 25 years.

“Collectively the panels will save more than 550 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions over a 25 year period and council expects to save a total of more than $115,000 over the life of the systems, based on today’s electricity rates.”

Each installation is estimated to generate over 7000kWh of energy per year, which represents almost half the annual usage for a facility such as the Caloundra Library.

Cr Jones said the installations are just part of a wide range of initiatives reflecting council’s commitment to sustainable practices.

“By pioneering this unique technology, council is doing the right thing for our community. It not only brings cost savings, it complements council’s renewable energy initiatives and sustainable practices right across the region.”

The Sliver Cell project was delivered through a partnership with Origin Energy and funded through grants totalling almost $35,000 under the Federal Government’s Solar Homes and Communities Plan.

The installations are coupled with an education campaign which will include posters, brochures, and educational sessions open to the public at council’s community centres.