Construction of a major solar panel array has commenced at Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef HQ Aquarium.
According to the state’s Minister for Sustainability, Tony Burke, the 153kW rooftop solar array will be the second largest system of its type in Queensland.
Climate change poses a huge threat for the well-being of the Great Barrier Reef and Minister Burke said all have a role to play in helping to protect it.
“It’s fitting that Reef HQ Aquarium – as the national education centre for the Great Barrier Reef – is leading by example to reduce their carbon footprint and help improve the resilience of the Reef.
Minister Burke stated the solar energy system would power the critical life support systems in the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium.
Accompanying the project will be displays showing the performance of the system in real time and other renewable energy themes.
“More than 130,000 people visit Reef HQ Aquarium each year – this is a fantastic way to educate visitors about how alternative energies are viable and important for protecting our environment”, says Mr. Burke.
The solar panels will generate an average of 706 kilowatt hours of clean electricity a day, an estimated total of 258 megawatt hours annually and will avoid 260 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
Any surplus electricity generated by the solar panel array will be fed back into the mains electricity grid.
Construction of the rooftop solar farm is expected to be completed by May 2012.
Queensland’s love affair with solar has continued to grow. In September, we reported on comments from Energy Minister Stephen Robertson who said over 107,000 Queensland solar households were reaping the rewards of installing rooftop systems. Unlike other Australian states, Queensland has maintained its solar incentives and currently offers the most generous feed in tariff in the country.