Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Moreland roofs now generate 12MWh power annually from Solar PV


This article was originally published at Climate Action Moreland.

Moreland City Council has just installed an extra 100kW of solar PV panels - 390 new panels in all - on the Coburg Civic Centre roof. This adds to the existing 9kW system that was already functioning.

These panels will meet 30 per cent of the building's energy needs, as well as saving 160 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year, with an estimated saving of $23,000 from Council's electricity bill each year,

Read more at MEFL: Coburg Town Hall gets solar-powered.

We think this is great news. Keep up the good work City of Moreland in transitioning to zero net emissions.


You’ve never seen Moreland like this before… We’ve been busy installing 390 high-quality solar panels here at the Coburg Town Hall. We thought you’d want to see what a saving of $23,000 looks like, so we sent in a drone to capture it all on film. To learn more about our commitment to energy efficiency projects, visit http://bit.ly/1D041e6.

Posted by Moreland City Council on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It is not only our Council that has been going solar, another item from the MEFL newsletter uses figures from the Clean Energy Regulator to show that at the end of February 2015:
  • 3,961 solar power systems had been installed in Moreland with a capacity of 10,708 kW
  • 414 solar power systems (1,622 kW) have been installed the 2014-15 financial year
  • 86 households have installed solar (244 kW) through the current bulk-buy coordinated by MEFL's Positive Charge initiative
  • On average, householders in Moreland have installed 3.9 kW solar power systems
I also checked the latest figures for March 2015. In December 2013 I looked at the penetration of solar PV in Fawkner and more broadly across Moreland. Figues in brackets are from November 2013 data, so you can compare the change.
Suburb Total Dwellings Dwellings installed Percent Installed capacity
Fawkner 3060 4520 328 (246) 7.3% (5.4%) 940kW (571kW)
Hadfield, Glenroy and Oak Park 3046 11482 811 (635) 7.10% (5.5%) 2167kW (1391kW)
Coburg 3058 11303 1092 (835) 9.7% (7.4%) 3178kW (1990kW)
Pascoe Vale 3044 9127 680 (546) 7.5% (6%) 1716kW (1238kW)
Brunswick 3056 7014 504 (389) 7.20% (5.5%) 1264kW (835kW)
Brunswick South, Brunswick West 3055 3933 303 (246) 7.70% (6.3%) 756kW (563kW)
Moreland LGA 51330 (56139) 4027 (3343) 7.80% (6.1%) 10950kW (7666kW)
Congratulations Moreland. We now have a power station the equivalent of a 12MWh of annual generation capacity operating during the day on the roofs of Moreland. A good proportion of this energy would be used near production, saving in energy transmission losses. Of course Moreland is not the only municipality enjoying the solar PV revolution. Here are the latest stats of some Melbourne northern region solar PV installations:
Municipality Total Dwellings Dwellings installed Percent Installed capacity
Moreland 51330 4027 7.8% 10950kW
Moonee Valley 36135 3050 8.40% 8583kW
Darebin 46499 4400 9.5% 11316kW
Hume 54920 8007 14.6% 24692kW
Whittlesea 52770 7394 14.00% 20888kW
Banyule 43137 3681 8.50% 9959kW
Maribyrnong 23539 2026 8.60% 5753kW
Melbourne 10236 551 5.40% 2132kW
As you can see from this table the urban/rural fringe municipalities of Hume and Whittlesea have a much greater penetration of solar PV, now exceeding 14 per cent. These are not wealthy areas, with new estates where people have a substantial mortgage but also see solar PV as a cost effective way of saving on their utility electricity consumption. Moreland at 7.8% is second lowest after the City of Melbourne.

This graph shows the solar PV monthly aggregate installation across Moreland postcode areas time series:

[caption id="attachment_2378" align="aligncenter" width="455"]Click to open larger version Click to open larger version[/caption]

There is still a lot of opportunity for take up of solar PV in Moreland. The City of Moreland in their Zero Carbon Evolution plan are aiming for a 22 per cent reduction in community emissions from the municipality, with solar PV on 21,200 homes by 2020 generating 42.4MW contributing a 5.2 per cent reduction as part of the plan.

If you are thinking of doing so, Moreland Energy Foundation (MEFL) offshoot Postive Charge offers a solar PV bulk buy to save when purchasing.

This is one reason why consumer demand for electricity is falling.

But due to the loss of the carbon price from July 2014, utility scale energy production from both black and brown coal is rising. We need action at both state and Federal level to enhance emission standards that will result in the closure of some of our ageing coal fired clinkers like Hazelwood, which is the most polluting and inefficient power station in the industrial word, and produces substantial population health impacts and social costs.