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A word from the industry
Installing a photovoltaic system on the Newcastle Museum was by no means straightforward for the forward-thinking Newcastle City Council (NCC), which had already embraced renewable energy through solar arrays.
As a heritage-listed site, the former railway workshop housing the museum posed unique challenges, including mandatory heritage assessments and the need to minimise the visual impact on the popular Honeysuckle precinct next to the harbour.
When it was switched on in May 2016, the discreet rooftop installation added a further 100 kilowatt of capacity to a growing number of eight solar set ups.
Together these now account for more than 440 kilowatt of renewable energy generation.
Installed by Hunter Valley-based company HCB Solar, the museum installation generates around 146 000 kilowatt hours, reducing the facility's grid consumption by 27 per cent.
'Through our Newcastle 2020 Carbon and Water Management Action Plan, Council has established a series of goals to progress financial and environmental sustainability,' said Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.
'One of these targets is for 30 per cent renewable energy generation for Council by 2020, and we continue to look at opportunities to achieve this goal.'
Solar PV, together with other projects, such as energy-efficient retrofits at popular cultural and recreational centres, has helped reduce Council's electricity consumption by around 1.45 million kilowatt hours a year.
Since 2012, rooftop solar systems have been installed at the Council's Works Depot at Waratah (91.26 kilowatts), Newcastle Art Gallery (86.25 kilowatts), Newcastle City Library (44.28 kilowatts), Wallsend Library (80.08 kilowatts), New Lambton Library (9.9 kilowatts), No.1 Sportsground (10.2 kilowatts), No.2 Sportsground (20.16 kilowatts) and the Newcastle Museum (99.75 kilowatts).
A small-scale wind turbine (2.5 kilowatts) is operating at Council's waste management centre and a 22 kilowatt hour battery storage system was installed at the city's No.2 Sportsground last year.
The Newcastle City Council provided this content.
Photo: Supplied by Newcastle City Council.
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