Llewellyn Motors in Ipswich have installed a 1232-panel, 332-kilowatt solar system on the roof of their car dealership, creating Australia’s largest privately-owned solar power station.
Llewellyn Motors’ Solar System
The Ipswich car dealership worked in conjunction with Planet Ark Power to install the solar system, and according to Llewellyn’s general manager James Sturgess it has already saved the company approximately $7,000 in power costs since it was turned on in October.
“Basically this takes care of half our energy needs,” Mr Sturgess told QT.
“The model we’ve put together is for this system to be cash flow positive from day one. We’ve been able to achieve 90% of our target straight away, and that’s taking into account a few rainy days.”
They are still in negotiations with Energex and the State Government with regards to feeding power back into the grid. In either case, the Llewellyn Motors solar set up is unique in that includes a special type of battery storage which uses data projections and previous information to decide when it should switch on and off. This battery will help reduce peaks in consumption and cut their solar bill further.
According to the executive director of Planet Ark Power, Richard Romanowski, their proprietary dSTATCOM software is a key driver of the ‘smart battery’ that helps the company save so much money and decide which to charge/discharge:
“This system is going to save them thousands of dollars a month,” Mr Romanowski said.
“The key is in the way the smart battery reduces the customer’s demand charges; it’s a battery plus software.”
This is another example of commercial solar continuing to gain ground in Australia – last week we reported on Stockland shopping centres rolling out 12.3MW of solar across 10 of their venues. We’ve also seen Aldi installing solar systems at their distribution centres, Office supply company Complete Office Supplies’ private solar investment in June this year was a massive $1m in rooftop PV solar at their Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne warehouse locations. No doubt there’s plenty more to come.