Solar Kogarah - developing and commercialising sustainable energy technology

The Solar Kogarah project is a major opportunity to raise awareness about the practical opportunities for solar energy applications.

Renewable energy generation based on solar energy products is the cornerstone of a far-reaching, globally innovative urban renewal initiative occurring in suburban Sydney.

The sustainable redevelopment of the Kogarah Town Square will feature Australia's largest, solar-powered, medium-density residential and commercial development. The two-year joint public and private sector project will cost $45 million. The solar power aspect is a highlight of a suite of energy and water conservation measures included in the project, which encompasses 190 apartments, commercial and retail space and a new public library.

Kogarah Council, together with High Trade Company Pty Ltd and various other public and private sector interests, is developing the complex referred to as Solar Kogarah. The $3 million solar energy component received a $1 million dollar grant under the Federal Government's Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program.

The buildings will incorporate at least 160kW of modular photovoltaic (sunlight-to-electricity) solar capacity into the roofing systems, the portico of the library and the awnings. With the latter two sites being easily visible to the public, they will play an important role in the project's solar education activity, demonstrating the environmental benefits of integrating photovoltaics into the actual building fabric. The power generated will be used to supply the building tenants, and excess power will be sold to the electricity utility via an interactive connection to the grid.

Large-scale implementation of technology to harness energy from the roofs and walls of buildings is set to play an important role in helping Australia meet both its greenhouse gas targets and the power needs of commercial and residential buildings. It is estimated that the Solar Kogarah installation will offset approximately 400 tonnes per annum of greenhouse gas emissions. The overall savings offered by the project is expected to play an influential role in promoting the acceptance of photovoltaic energy as a mainstream power source.

Solarch (the National Solar Architecture Research Unit of the University of New South Wales) and a private architectural consultancy, in conjunction with the University of New South Wales' Photovoltaic Research Centre, designed the solar-powered residential building. The AGO and Kogarah Council consider it a benchmark site that will stimulate the adoption of renewable energy concepts for practical urban living.

Under the auspices of the AGO, training packages in renewable energy services are being developed for professionals and tradespeople in the construction industry, as well as for representatives of local government. These packages are based on the Solar Kogarah project. The general public will also be encouraged to visit and investigate the Kogarah Town Square redevelopment. The Council is building an interactive website to enable interested individuals to monitor the village's overall progress; it provides an excellent open education opportunity to study the site's developing technologies.

The developers believe the project will become a model for transforming the design of a typical suburban town centre, promoting sustainability through the efficient use of urban space and infrastructure, improving the community living environment, and enhancing resource and energy efficiency. It is anticipated that the urban renewal delivered through the project will be capable of generating $100 million of capital investment over the next decade.

For more information please contact

Ransce Salan
Kogarah Council
Kogarah Civic Centre
2 Belgrave Street
Kogarah NSW 2217
Tel (02) 9330 9464 or 0417 249 334
Fax (02) 9330 9561
Email rs1kmc@kogarah.nsw.gov.au
Internet www.kogarah.nsw.gov.au

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Renewable Energy Commercialisation in Australia, Australian Greenhouse Office, 2003
The status of these projects will have changed since the time of publication, and project contacts may also have changed.