Llewellyn Motors install 332kw solar system in Ipswich.

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.

Llewellyn Motors Solar System - Planet Ark Power
Llewellyn Motors Solar System – Planet Ark Power (source: Planet Ark Facebook)

“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. 

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Complete Office Supplies Private Solar Investment

Complete Office Supplies have invested $1m in rooftop PV solar at their Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane location, according to Stationery News. The sites have been developed by Sun Connect. With many large scale solar farms being announced lately, it’s great to hear more about private solar investment.

Private Solar Investment – COS

Complete Office Supplies Private Solar Investment
Complete Office Supplies Logo (source: cos.net.au)

The project will be constructed on 8,390 square metres of warehouse space at the three aforementioned locations. This space will house 1,500 PV solar panels.

The three sites will produce 611MWh of solar energy per annum, which is enough to account for 80% of COS’ power usage. Installing this large scale PV solar will reduce their carbon emissions by 532 tonnes a year – which is equal to removing 133 cars from the roads or growing 3191 mature trees. This energy generation will be reflected by the installation of a live widget on the Complete Office Supplies website which will show how much energy the panels are creating and keep a running tally of the investment.

Although this option may not be feasible for some companies, where, for example, shareholders demand immediate results –  the Managing Director of COS, Dominique Lyone, was quoted as saying “as COS is privately owned we have the freedom to make long-term decisions that may not have an immediate return on investment.” The CEO of Sun Connect, Mark Tuke, was also full of praise for the project – noting that “COS’ investment in solar technology demonstrates its level of genuine commitment to sustainable energy solutions. This level of investment is rare within the private sector and it is encouraging to see the environmental leadership by COS to drive positive change for a sustainable future. This was one of the largest commercial solar panel installations undertaken by Sun Connect.”

We’ve embedded a video below where you can learn more about the installation – kudos to COS and the team for their forward thinking stance and we’re sure it’ll pay off handsomely.

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