The first step towards construction of a Solar Park on Magnetic Island was taken today, with an official sod turning ceremony at the Solar City Smart Lifestyle Centre.
The latest initiative is part of Ergon Energy’s Magnetic Island Solar Suburb project, and is expected to become a major drawcard for the Island.
Solar City Project Manager Ian Cruickshank said once completed, the Solar Park would generate about 100kW of renewable solar energy.
“This is an exciting initiative which again demonstrates the commitment of the Townsville Queensland Solar City project in delivering practical applications of solar energy that will assist our understanding of renewable energy and will also benefit the local community,” Mr Cruickshank said.
“The 100kW of renewable energy generated from the Solar Park is equivalent to suppling the electricity requirements for 18 houses for a year.
“This will complement the smaller solar photovoltaic installations on residential and commercial premises as part of the Solar City project.”
Townsville City Council Mayor Cr Les Tyrell conducted the official honours of turning the first sod for the Solar Park during a ceremony at the Smart Lifestyle Centre.
The ceremony took place during a visit by some of the leading international solar and renewable energy researchers and industry representatives who enjoyed a Renewable Energy Tour of the Solar City project as part of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society (ANZSES) Solar 09 Conference in Townsville.
“The Townsville Queensland Solar City project has been full of firsts, and this is yet another,” Cr Tyrell said.
“The Solar Park’s proximity to the Smart Lifestyle Centre will make it a showpiece precinct, and it will become a major drawcard on Magnetic Island, as the island continues its transformation into a shining example of what a community can do to learn about and manage their demand for household energy.”
The Solar Park is expected to include a number of structures to demonstrate the range of solar generation options available.
Community consultation will now be carried out to determine the best design for the Solar Park.