Leisure centre solar system cuts greenhouse gas emissions

Published on 06 May 2022

This is a photograph of Yan Yean MP Danielle Green, Nillumbik Mayor Frances Eyre, Eltham MP Vicki Ward and Edendale Ward Councillor Natalie Duffy officially opening the new solar system and car charging station at the Eltham Leisure Centre.

More than 172 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions have been saved over the past year since the installation of a major new solar system at the Eltham Leisure Centre.

Today, Mayor Frances Eyre joined Eltham MP Vicki Ward, representing Local Government and Suburban Development Minister Shaun Leane, for the official launch of the new system as well as four electric vehicle charging stations.

The $540,000 project was jointly funded by Council and the Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund.

The launch comes as Council last week endorsed its Climate Action Plan, and the commitment to Council operations being carbon neutral by 2030.

Cr Eyre said local government had an important role to play in leading by example on climate action.

“Our services, facilities, buildings and infrastructure must be climate responsive, incorporating the best available technologies to help us reduce our carbon footprint,” Cr Eyre said.

“It’s projects like this new solar system, producing clean renewable energy, that provide concrete examples of the proactive action we are already taking to reducing our carbon emissions and our direct contribution to climate change.

“Since the solar system was installed last May, 174,000kg in greenhouse gas emissions have been saved. That’s equivalent to planting 3349 trees or taking 50 cars off the road.

“The four electric vehicle charging stations in the Eltham Leisure Centre car park proving very popular, with almost 1000 cars charged since they became operational, saving more than 2600kg in greenhouse gas emissions.”

The new rooftop solar system is one of the largest in Nillumbik. It comprises 267 kilowatts of rooftop solar panels which have generated 290 megawatt hours since commissioning last June directly supplying 16.5 per cent of all electrical needs for the building – which is significant for a building that is one of Council’s biggest consumers of electricity.

Two battery backup systems ensure continuous power to the toilets and change rooms, and systems in reception, allowing the centre to remain operational even during times of power outages.

The project builds on Council’s award-winning solar system at the Community Bank Stadium in Diamond Creek. Work will also start later this year on Council’s new solar farm in Plenty.