Solar Revolution in East Gippsland Shire Continues

Lakes Aquadome

Edited article first published in Environment Connect Summer 2019-20

The EGSC received $100,000 from Sustainability Victoria to provide energy efficiency and solar funding for community buildings. Notification of an additional $10,000 was also made for the Local Government Energy Saver Program bringing the total available funding to $260,000 including Council contribution of $150,000. Energy efficiency and grid connected solar energy have been implemented on community buildings, which has an estimated payback period of 5 years and annual savings of $45,000 and 308 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The following have now been completed:

Lakes Entrance Aquadome: A grid connected 46kW solar system on the roof of the Aquadome – the biggest on a Council facility so far.  This solar system is projected to save $10,977 in electricity and 61 tonnes of CO2 emissions pa.

Squash and Table Tennis, Lucknow: Nine external 400 watt floodlights have been swapped to 100 watt and 150 watt LED fittings, and a 5.6kW solar system was installed to make combined annual savings of $4,300 and 11 tonnes of CO2.

Corporate Centre, Bairnsdale: A 26 kW grid connected solar system was installed in September 2019. It is projected to save $3,600 a year in electricity and 17 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions pa.

Orbost library: An extensive LED lighting upgrade has taken place at the Orbost Customer Service Centre and Library, with predicted reductions of 18 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year and electrical savings of $3,700 pa.  Approximately 130 lights were changed, mostly fluorescent tubes.  Lights have been changed as part of the VEET scheme, and all old fluorescent lights have been sent for recycling.

East Gippsland Art Gallery: A significant energy makeover has taken place at the Art Gallery.  Installation of LED lighting, a heat pump hot water switched to heat only during the day using the new grid connected 5kW solar system, and replacement of old air conditioning, has been completed in the past few weeks resulting in the gallery being close to energy neutral for its daily operations. Old air conditioning has been replaced with new systems containing refrigerant R32 (which has a global warming potential of 688 compared to R401 global warming potential of 2088).

Bairnsdale library: A 9kW grid connected solar system was installed on the Bairnsdale library in September with savings of $2,400 and 15 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.  The solar panels are visible from Service Street.

East Gippsland Historical Society: An internal LED lighting upgrade and installation of a 5kW solar system has taken place in past two months. The combined energy saving upgrades are projected to save the Society $1,700 a year in electricity and 11 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions pa.

Also completed since May 2019: Bairnsdale City Oval – 10kW solar system and internal LED lighting upgrade, Forge Theatre – installation of a 10kW solar system.

To be completed by February 2020: AJ Freeman Reserve – 10kW solar system installation, BARC & Forge – LED lighting upgrades, installation of Solar Analytics devices with automatic fault detection alert and consolidated monitoring from inverters.

Further information: Rebecca Lamble, Sustainability Officer