ALTERNATIVE POWER: Lismore Workers Club HR manager Murray Kirshaw and president Richard Mackney with the new solar panels.
ALTERNATIVE POWER: Lismore Workers Club HR manager Murray Kirshaw and president Richard Mackney with the new solar panels.

Power surge at the Workers

LISMORE Workers Club is proud to have gone solar - saving the environment and their wallets at the same time, said general manager, Stephen Bortolin.

The club has taken measures to reduce its carbon footprint by installing 100kw of peak power solar system covering most of their available roof space, making it one of the largest solar arrays on the North Coast.

In a statement the club said that the panels, which were finished on February 20, will stand on the roof of the downtown club as a flagship signpost for a renewable energy future.

Mr Bortolin said it is anticipated that 153 megawatt-hours (MWh) per year will be produced resulting in considerable energy savings over time.

The big bonus though is of course the estimated 162 tonnes of carbon emissions per year that will be taken out of the environment, as the array will cover approximately 30 to 35% of the club's daytime power consumption.

"We were very excited about having (the solar panels) installed," Mr Bortolin said.

"The actual installation went really well, it was pretty seamless, with very little disruption to the patronage."

He said the club was excited to not only be saving money on power, but also to be lending a hand to the environment by taking this alternative path to power usage.

"We feel great - certainly energy's one of our biggest costs… But this is also good for the environment," he said.

Mr Bortolin said the process to get the solar panels had taken them about 18 months, whereby they got numerous quotes done, and also commissioned a comprehensive energy audit to be carried out by Powersmart energy consultant Michael Qualmann in order to achieve further energy cost savings.

The solar panels chosen are the same brand and type as used in one of the largest Photovoltaic arrays currently in Australia - the 1MW PV solar system at the University of Queensland.

With the new system, Mr Bortolin said, the club expects to reduce its power bill by at least $187,000 per year by energy efficiency measures and solar power.



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