ACT arboretum goes solar

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New solar panels and battery storage will be installed at the National Arboretum in Canberra to reduce the ACT’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 28.5 tonnes per year.

The installation of a 30 kilowatt solar panel system, supported by battery storage, will replace the large diesel generator at the Arboretum’s horticulture works depot.

“The system, installed by Canberra-based company ITP Renewables, is self-contained and offgrid. It can run the hot water system, computers, fridges, air conditioners and power tools, even welders,” ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury said.

“This renewable energy project will result in significant reductions to greenhouse gas emissions estimated at 28.5 tonnes per year. This is the equivalent of taking 11.8 cars off the road each year.

“The project makes financial sense as well with the installation cost of the new system expected to be repaid using fuel savings within eight years and then ongoing financial savings thereafter.

“Solar will also provide a more reliable electrical supply to the depot than the previous diesel generator.

“I am pleased that one of the more iconic locations in Canberra, which is committed to a range of environmental projects, has seen the benefits of utilising solar power.”

The project has been made possible through a $283,330 loan from the ACT Government’s Carbon Neutral Government Fund.

The Carbon Neutral Government Fund provides loans for agencies to implement energy and fuel saving projects.

“The fund has now supported 26 projects with a total of $14.5 million in loans provided across ACT Government which will provide more than $2 million in annual cost savings,” Mr Rattenbury said. 

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