So­lar car park for the ages

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY EMMA PRIOR

In a first for the re­gion ClubMul­wala will be in­stalling state of the art shade struc­tures with so­lar pan­els to more than 100 of their car park­ing spa­ces to be com­pleted by June 30, 2018.

To­gether with a car park re­design the club is in­tend­ing to pro­vide an A class park­ing fa­cil­ity for its vis­i­tors in­clud­ing the re­gions first elec­tric car charg­ing point for tesla cars, an in­vest­ment fit for the fu­ture.

ClubMul­wala CEO Alan Rowe said the new ad­di­tion to the club would be very ben­e­fi­cial to mem­bers es­pe­cially dur­ing the sum­mer months when ev­ery­one is fight­ing for the shady parks with Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala like most of the Mur­ray re­gion lack­ing in shade for park­ing.

“We want to do some­thing that gives back to our mem­bers and back into the com­mu­nity,” Mr Rowe said.

“Es­pe­cially in the weather we have had re­cently, many of our el­derly mem­bers have had to park a fair way away just to get a park in the shade so to pro­vide shade cover for one third of our park­ing will be fan­tas­tic.

“If it works out we will be the prece­dent oth­ers look to and we can set a mar­ket stan­dard.

“The so­lar car park sys­tems are also a good in­vest­ment as the so­lar pays off the struc­tures, car park and the so­lar gen­er­a­tor.”

Pres­i­dent of ClubMul­wala Des O’Meara ESM OAM agreed whole­heart­edly adding the project would even­tu­ally pay for it­self.

“We’re ex­cited about some­thing for the ben­e­fit of our mem­bers, we’re look­ing into the way of the fu­ture,” said Mr O’Meara. “It will pay for it­self within a few years.” Blue Tongue So­lar have been en­gaged by ClubMul­wala to de­sign the sys­tem but are look­ing to em­ploy lo­cal con­trac­tors to work on the project with ten­ders be­ing sent out to all lo­cal com­pa­nies.

“It’s again about giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity by us­ing only lo­cal con­trac­tors but we hope that the in­vest­ment into vis­i­tor com­fort and the en­vi­ron­ment will in­spire other busi­nesses to fol­low suit,” Mr Rowe said.

“The board is be­ing very proac­tive and for­ward think­ing in their plans and as­pi­ra­tions for the club in the fu­ture and are 110% be­hind the project and the di­rec­tion the club is head­ing.

“We’re just ex­cited over the next five months to see the car park trans­form.”

812 frame­less so­lar glass pan­els spe­cially im­ported from China will adorn the top of the shade struc­ture with 840 to 1200 kilo­watts per day to be pro­duced.

To­gether with the 80kw roof top sys­tem, ClubMul­wala will be pro­duc­ing 430 Megawatts per year of re­new­able en­ergy sav­ing 404 tonnes of C02 each year, or 12,000 tonnes of C02 be­ing re­leased into the at­mos­phere over the life of the pan­els.

“We are be­ing mind­ful of the en­vi­ron­ment but we’re also hop­ing to save on elec­tric­ity, the bills are ex­or­bi­tant so we’re hop­ing to bring them down as well,” Mr Rowe said.

“We al­ready have so­lar on the build­ing but our bills are still ridicu­lously high so we started think­ing how can we max­i­mize re­turn but still pro­vide the club with a sub­stan­tial amount of elec­tric­ity.

“Sav­ing money also means we can look at bet­ter­ing other parts of the club which can ben­e­fit both us and our mem­bers.”

Mr O’Meara said the for­mal plan­ning process had taken six months but the idea had been on the cards for many years.

“Our cur­rent board is just pri­ori­tis­ing the wish list we have had for many years and a $750,000 in­vest­ment like this that our 15,000 mem­bers will be able to de­rive mas­sive ben- efits out of is just the way of the fu­ture for our club and will help us in be­ing pro­gres­sive,” Mr O’Meara said.

“We were as­pir­ing to keep to the brand­ing of the club as well so the de­sign was cho­sen to keep in the theme of the club us­ing blue pan­els but if this stage of the project pays off our grand plan is to cover the whole car park.”

The start­ing date for the project has not yet been con­firmed but Mr Rowe and Mr O’Meara were both adamant in say­ing the date of June 30 was a def­i­nite com­ple­tion date.

“We haven’t been able to con­firm the start date as of yet but the project will def­i­nitely be fin­ished by the end of June,” Mr Rowe said.

“We are just very ex­cited to see the trans­for­ma­tion and to hope­fully see this project pay off and kick start other busi­nesses in the re­gion flow­ing suit to help con­serve the en­vi­ron­ment.”

An artists im­pres­sion of the so­lar car park.

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