What: Community Solar Installation celebration
When: 12:30 Saturday, 1 May 2010
Where: Cascades Gardens, South Hobart (at the barbecues on the brewery end of the gardens)
Contact: South Hobart Solar Group representatives Ahmet Bektas 0417 358 819, Margie Law

Community Group celebrates completion of $1.7 million of solar installations

The Solar Group of the South Hobart Sustainable Community Inc, is celebrating the completion of it’s solar neighbourhood project which installed 150 solar power systems, 55 solar hot water systems and 15 heat pump systems to households in and around South Hobart.

The volunteer group was formed in early 2009 to promote and negotiate bulk purchases of solar systems for interested households in and around South Hobart.

The group’s current coordinator, Ahmet Bektas said that this was a fantastic demonstration of community action on climate change.

The group researched available government and Hobart City Council rebates, then looked at the cost and performance of different systems and negotiated bulk-purchase discounts with suppliers.

Mr Bektas said that “by making the purchase of a solar system easier and cheaper, the South Hobart Solar Group helped 220 households install solar and heat pump systems”.

Mr Bektas pointed out that “The systems, which cost approximately $1.7 million, will make an important contribution to energy and emission savings. The 150 solar power systems are estimated to generate 190,000 kilowatts of energy per year or 4.8 gigawatts of energy over their 15 year life.”

“For the solar and heat pump hot water systems, the group estimates that each household will have saved 1,750 kilowatts of electricity each year — the equivalent of 400 kg of greenhouse gas emissions for every household*” he added.

The solar celebration barbecue to start at 12.30 at the Cascade Gardens on Saturday 1 May, will be attended by participating households, solar group members and solar suppliers.

In addition, the group will select the winning entries in a solar photo competition of systems installed in the neighbourhood in the past year.

*This is calculated using:

1. Aurora’s estimate for average household energy usage of 10,000 kWh per year

2. Assuming that heating water consumes 25% of household energy use

3. Assuming an average figure of 70% energy saving from using a solar or heat pump hot water system

4. Using the Department of Climate Change National Greenhouse Accounts (NGA) figure of 0.23kg of greenhouse gases created for each kWh of energy generated in Tasmania, June 2009 http://www.climatechange.gov.au/workbook/pubs/workbook-jun09.pdf
Ahmet Bektas