What if businesses covered their roofs in panels? Could they store excess electricity in batteries or even in electric cars or delivery vans? How about if solar uptake spread across a whole industrial estate? Could it power the whole thing?
Six months down the track we’ve asked many more questions, done a great deal of research and come up with a vision for Brookvale.
Big if. But worth a try.
Read on for the full media release which has more details about the collaboration on Powerhouse Brookvale. If you work or live or play in Brookvale, please spread the word.
What is an Urban Renewable Energy Zone? Read on…
Imagine this. A clean, green, mini-power plant in the city where local businesses get paid for energy they collect from their roof; where cars and trucks are powered by the sun; where residences and businesses share energy storage; where having solar panels on your roof is not just smart, it’s normal.
It’s nearly here. Brookvale is home to the largest commercial area within the Northern Beaches and it’s also a powerhouse for renewable energy – 7000 solar panels producing 2 MWp. There are panels on car showrooms, hotels and office blocks, boutique brewers and coffee roasters. But there is room for so much more. Taking that number to 70,000 solar panels (which is 50% of Brookvale’s suitable roofs) is, well… You do the maths. 20 mW, the size of a small power station.
The trouble is, in spite of tax breaks, rebates and the best efforts of solar salesmen not enough businesses have jumped on the solar train. The obvious incentive – money – isn’t getting the attention of small business owners with day-to-day worries about Covid, cash flow and customers.
Zero Emissions Sydney North volunteers are collaborating with Clean Energy for Eternity and Clear Sky Solar Investments to help reach the Northern Beaches Council ambitious target of 50% of suitable premises in the LGA installing solar panels by 2030. We’re putting early adopters – Solar Champions, we call them – together with skilled volunteers – Solar Ambassadors – to provide trusted peer-to-peer support, instead of the solar hard sell. We help with finance, we do the research, we fill in the forms. All businesses need is a roof.
The project launches officially in February of next year, but we’re already running pilot schemes and looking for Solar Ambassadors. And we’re thrilled to announce that we have just won a $5000 grant from the Northern Beaches Council towards the project.
If you’re a business owner or property owner in Brookvale, of if you feel inspired by the idea of an Urban Renewable Energy Zone, we’d love to hear from you.
Take a bird’s eye view of Brookvale and help us with an exciting new project.
Brookvale is home to the largest commercial area within the Northern Beaches and it’s also a powerhouse for renewable energy. Large and small, owner operated or rented, retail, service and light industrial; businesses of all shapes and sizes are taking advantage of low interest rates and high returns to go green and boost their bottom line at the same time.
We all know about regional solar farms but can it be done in a city? This article suggests yes. Who knows, maybe we can build a solar farm right here on the Northern Beaches!
Brookvale currently has nearly 7000 solar panels covering around 5% of suitable roof spaces. The Northern Beaches Council’s 2030 target of covering 50% of suitable roof space would see Brookvale become a virtual power station, producing 20MWp. That’s equivalent to the Royalla Solar Farm, Australia’s biggest solar farm, which can generate clean energy equivalent to the consumption of around 4,500 homes in the area.
How do we know this? Because Zero volunteer Chris Lee has spent hours counting them.
Now he’s onto the next phase of the study. It can all be done from your computer, so if you can navigate a spreadsheet and use Six Maps, we would love your help. You can do as much or as little as you like. Just get in touch with Chris and he will send you instructions on how to take a bird’s eye view.