Reducing carbon emissions through solar project

Thursday, 30 May, 2024

Reducing carbon emissions through solar project

An extensive solar panel installation has been rolled out at Resthaven aged care facilities to help reduce carbon emissions.

The project will see solar arrays installed at the organisation’s residential care sites, community services and corporate offices, with completion of the project expected in July 2024.

“Resthaven is working to reduce our impact on the environment and to cut our carbon footprint,” said Darren Birbeck, Resthaven CEO.

“We are committed to fulfilling our environmental responsibilities. Investing in solar is just one of the ways we are doing this.”

Working with CME, Suntrix and sustainability consultant Dsquared Consulting, the rooftop solar systems are a combined 1511 kilowatts and are expected to generate 2252 megawatt-hours annually. System sizes range from five kilowatts — generating 7000 kilowatts annually on small, community services buildings — to 220 kilowatts, generating 310 megawatts annually on larger residential care facilities.

Resthaven’s Manager, Building and Capital Works, Emmet O’Donovan, said because Resthaven has multiple sites, there is a large amount of roof space that can be utilised for the solar array installations.

“The nature of our business means that we have a large roof footprint,” O’Donovan said.

“We are utilising this to generate the greatest solar energy possible. A lot of our energy usage is during the day, so we are able to directly use what we generate, as well as return some energy to the grid.”

Once the solar installations are completed at each site, residents, staff and community members will be able to view the solar energy generation information via a screen in the reception area.

The project is part of Resthaven’s broader carbon emissions reduction plan, which also includes reticulated water for gardens, energy-efficient lighting and waste minimisation strategies. All buildings incorporate environmentally friendly design and redevelopments and refurbishments aim to improve the environmental impact of existing buildings.

Image caption: Resthaven Aberfoyle Park from the air.

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