In 2012, DPS completed a solar pilot project to assess how alternative technologies can be integrated into our building systems.
The project consists of a total of 43.3 kW of photovoltaic modules. There are 42 panels on the roof of the Gardeners’ Compound and 192 panels on the roof of the Senate wing. The total annual production from the pilot modules is estimated at 65,000 kWh (equivalent to 20 average home installations). A small solar hot water unit has also been installed on the roof of the Gardeners' Compound outbuilding.
Objectives and Outcomes
The prime objective of the solar pilot was to study any issues associated with the integration of photovoltaic power generation and solar hot water into the building’s existing infrastructure, and how solar technology links to other systems.
The pilot demonstrated that Parliament House is well suited to solar panels, having large flat roof spaces to capture sunlight and minimal shading. The panels have integrated well into the existing infrastructure and with a low visual aspect, are in keeping with the building design.
The project received a design and installation award from the Clean Energy Council in 2012.
The system went live in June 2011 and has performed as expected, providing enough electricity to illuminate lights, in both the Senate and House of Representatives Chambers during the sitting period annually.
In the first year of operation the project provided a savings of $9,000 in electricity costs, and it is predicted that within 10 years the savings will increase to $17,000 annually.
The graph below shows monthly solar panel performance from July 2012. The total energy produced from the solar panels in 2012-13 was 64,707 kilowatt hours and resulted in a carbon reduction of 69 tonnes CO2.
For more information or to provide feedback about the Parliament House solar panel project, contact the Environment Manager.