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Mitchell Community Energy

A Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre carpark solar and shade structure

The Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre currently has a 99kW rooftop PV system, which generates 25% of the Centre’s electricity needs, and saves Council about $30,000 annually. But what about the other 75%?

Image courtesy of GIEnergy

In March 2020 MCE received a grant from DELWP to assist with the design and costing of the project and our submission is based on the results of that study. We received support from Council officers who provided detailed data on power usage at SSAC. Detailed design and cost estimates have been obtained with professional input from Cosmic Energy Australia.

Proposal to Council. In the Council Budget process recently, MCE made a written submission, then presented TWO proposals in JUST FIVE MINUTES to Council on May 24th. The presentation appeared to be well received, with MCE expressing frustration that the delayed Chittick Park Redevelopment draft plan has yet to see the light of day, and so construction of the carpark PV facility consideration by Council is delayed. But it need not be. Council is foregoing an expected $83,000 in power savings annually with this delay.

Here are the details:

1. The first proposal is to construct a car park shade structure with PV panels fitted on top. The structure would provide shade for 100 cars and carry 336.6 kW of PV panels, which would generate 440 MWh The cost would be $665,000, including GST, and save $83,000 per year. Payback would be in 8 years. A further step in this proposal would be to add two 58 kW, 232 kWh Tesla batteries. The total cost would be $950,000, including GST, and save $101,000 per year. Payback would be in 9.4 years. This then creates a Safe Place in Seymour with 100% independent power in an emergency.

2. In a second submission to the Council budget, MCE are proposing that the gas heaters for the swimming pool water be replaced by heat pumps, which would increase the electrical demand.

This MCE submission would cost about $170,000 and save $66.000 per year. The added demand could be supplied by additional panels as appropriate.

SSAC- net zero emissions. MCE urges Council to proceed with this project for its financial benefits, its very significant contribution to emission reductions, and as a key asset in times of emergency when Chittick Park is designated a Safer Place. It would also be an ideal location for an EV charging point- “charge your EV whilst you have a work-out in the SSAC.”

The photo above is indicative of what a car park PV station looks like. Power when its sunny, shade when its really hot and sunny. This could be a marketing edge for the SSAC.

Such carpark PV facilities are common in countries such as Spain, and are being provided by some companies in Australia for staff and customers, but MCE has found that local government has not yet provided such a facility; Mitchell Shire Council has an opportunity to obtain recognition for a model installation, and consequently attract financial support for it.

Meanwhile elsewhere in the community....

Goulburn Options Beyond engagement with Mitchell Shire, MCE has been engaged with Goulburn Options over a couple of years in considering energy saving and renewable energy generation options for their offices in High Street Seymour. In responding to options presented by MCE, the Goulburn Options board has decided to install a 30kW system. The payback period is about 3 years.

And if you still need more encouraging news on renewables and investment, this is a good read

We are on the cusp of a third boom in renewables, this time in battery storage and infrastructure upgrade. As the article says " with or without the fossil-fuel friendly Federal Government.

38 views0 comments


Unknown member
Jun 14, 2021

Brilliant - we need more of this everywhere - dual benefit


Unknown member
Jun 09, 2021

Fantastic work Mitchell Community Energy. Come on Council, lets get cracking...theres money to be saved, theres emissions to be reduced.

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