Sunshine Coast Solar Farm goes live in Australian first
The Sunshine Coast Solar Farm is now live and feeding electricity into the power grid, making Sunshine Coast Council the first local government in Australia to offset 100% of its electricity consumption with energy from a renewable source.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the 15 megawatt (MW) solar farm at Valdora allowed council to take control of its own electricity supply, combating rising electricity costs and achieving an important sustainability milestone.
“All power consumed at all of council’s facilities, including our 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,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“This is an exciting day for our region and for the residents of the Sunshine Coast.
“We are the first council in Australia to build and operate a 15MW utility scale solar farm which will deliver $22 million in savings, after all costs, for our ratepayers over the next 30 years.
“Our solar farm is the first, and will be the largest, to connect to the electricity grid in South East Queensland. It is also the first solar farm in Australia to operate at 1500 volts DC which enables it to operate more efficiently.
“This is an impressive pioneering project and is yet another example of our council being a national leader.
“In fact, it’s so impressive, 15 councils around Australia have already inquired about how they can follow in our footsteps.
“What’s more, is that this project has been developed and delivered solely by our council, without any assistance from either the Federal or State governments, unlike many other solar farms being developed in Australia.
“Both the State and Federal governments talk about achieving renewable energy targets – our council is getting on with and achieving ours – and well ahead of anyone else.
“Our vision is to be the most sustainable region in Australia – healthy, smart, creative.
“This leap forward in the clean energy sector helps our council to deliver on that promise.”