Australia watches as Sunshine Coast solar farm powers up

July 30, 2017 by  

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Council has made history by being the first local government area in Australia to offset its entire electricity consumption using renewably sourced energy.

The $50.4m facility was developed from scratch by council with the aim of delivering massive savings to local ratepayers, as well as illustrating its clean energy commitment.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Sunshine Coast Solar farm began feeding electricity produced into the power grid on Monday, July 24, adding:

“Council will sell power harvested using 57,960 solar panels to the grid for the best price it can achieve and buy it back at the cheapest.”

The Mayor said the facility will ultimately give council control of all its electricity supply and provide it with a way to combat escalating power bills.

Cr. Jamieson added:

“All power consumed at all of council’s facilities, including administration buildings, aquatic centres, community and performance venues, as well as holiday parks, libraries, art galleries and sporting facilities, will be offset with energy from a renewable source thanks to this nation-leading project.”

He said Sunshine Coast Council is the first in Australia to construct and operate a solar farm at the 15MW utility scale, and is set to achieve savings of $22m, after all costs, to ratepayers in the next three decades.

The solar farm is also expected to become a popular landmark featured on items such as postcards.