Renewable Energy Project: Solar Panels
CERES Environment Park is an award winning, not for profit, sustainability centre located on a regenerated landfill site in East Brunswick, Melbourne.
CERES runs extensive environmental education programs both at the park and into the community: urban agriculture projects, sustainability technology demonstrations, and social enterprises including a grocery, café, community kitchen, organic online supermarket, and a permaculture nursery.
CERES was at the forefront of renewable energy in Melbourne. In 1993 there was a cutting edge grid-interactive hybrid power station that contributed about 25% of electricity needs. But with growth and aging of technology that contribution dropped significantly, so in 2017 CERES adopted a goal to have zero carbon emissions by 2025.
CERES wanted not one but three new solar PV installations to help them achieve their zero emissions goal. We originally agreed to fund a planned 20kW installation on the Chook House roof. However, a very generous philanthropist then offered to pay for the Chook House solar and a separate Merri House installation.
Accordingly we then agreed to fund the 3rd proposed installation, 9.24kW of solar PV on the Human Powered Classroom instead. However, with 3 installations happening, expensive network protection equipment was required in order to enable such a large overall amount of solar PV generation. While that equipment does not reduce emissions in itself, it was necessary to enable the 3 installations to go ahead, so we agreed to lend CERES enough funds to cover that equipment as well.
This project has been fully funded – Thank you!
Status: Funded project – loan repayment in progress
Loan amount: $24,176
Loan repayments: $1,210/quarter
Human Powered Classroom: 9.24kW
28 x LG 330 NEON2 panels
10kW SolarEdge inverter
28 x P404 DC optimisers
Site specific costs:
Network protection equipment required to enable this installation plus 2 other new solar installations on other CERES buildings
Human Powered Classroom solar – $15,563
Network protection equipment – $8,613
Total cost – $24,176
Human Powered Classroom solar – $2,760/year, 13,800 kWh/year
Network protection equipment – this enabled the above and also 2 other solar installations to take place, so assigning a savings value is tricky.
Reduction in carbon emissions/yr: Equivalent to 2.49 average households using renewable electricity instead of grid electricity