Case study: How we’re boosting solar power in Sydney

By installing rooftop solar on our own buildings and helping residents and businesses do the same, we’re laying the groundwork for a renewable future.

The City of Sydney is committed to increasing the amount of renewable energy being used in our neighbourhoods and beyond. We know that to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and create a liveable city for the future, we need to break our reliance on polluting fossil fuels. Here’s how we’re doing it.

Leading by example

In recent years, the City of Sydney has installed rooftop solar on about 40 sites you use every day, from significant public buildings such as Sydney Town Hall to works depots such as Alexandra Canal and sporting fields such as Redfern Oval. Together, the capacity of the solar panels at these sites is 1.5 megawatts: enough to meet the daily needs of about 150 homes in the City area.

And there’s more to come. By the end of 2020, we are planning to install rooftop solar at another five sites, increasing our generating capacity by 500 kilowatts.

We’re also making it easier for residents and businesses in the City of Sydney to install rooftop solar by waiving development application fees for solar installations and providing detailed consumer information with this help centre.

A wealth of fresh ideas

We’re constantly looking for new ways to innovate. At our Alexandra Canal depot, for example, we have installed a state-of-the-art Tesla Powerpack battery so we can store any excess electricity that the depot’s 1,600 solar panels generate and use it after the sun sets.

We’re also funding a feasibility study to determine whether the City of Sydney could accommodate a communal “solar garden” (i.e., an installation of solar panels in a central location with many owners). A solar garden would enable people who cannot install rooftop solar to take part in the transition to renewables and reap the financial rewards of cheap green power.

We’ve made good progress so far, but we know there is more work to be done, and that we all have a part to play. We will continue to install rooftop solar in the months and years ahead. Will you join us?

Does rooftop solar make sense for your home or business?

Rooftop solar can be a great way to reduce emissions and save money, but every roof is different. In order to decide whether rooftop solar is a good fit for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much roof space do I have? Do you know exactly what is on your roof? At home, you might be surprised to discover aerials or old skylights. At work, infrastructure such as cooling towers, rooftop gardens and window-washing cranes can all break up available roof space.

  • What direction does my roof face? A north-facing roof is ideal for solar because it gives you good exposure to sunlight throughout the day, but other aspects can also work well.

  • What angle is my roof? Solar panels perform best when angled between 10 degrees and 45 degrees. If your roof is flat, you will need to install angle brackets.

  • Is my roof shaded? Shade from trees and surrounding buildings can impact how much energy your panels generate, however many solar systems now include smart electronics that can reduce the impact of shading.

  • Is my roof sturdy enough for panels? Solar panels are heavy, so a structurally sound roof is essential.

To learn more about whether rooftop solar is a good fit for you, check out the following articles:

How to check if your roof is suitable for solar: businesses

How to check if you roof is suitable for solar – residential

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