Townsville City Council is inviting proposals for shading for car parks and footpaths between the Stadium Precinct and Townsville’s CBD that will also generate electricity.
The Solar Shade Project will initially involve two trial areas – one being Central Park and the other at the rear car park of Council’s offices at 103 Walker Street. After a trial period of 12 months, the project could be expanded to more of the city’s pathways.
It’s envisioned the successful party will install, own and operate the infrastructure.
“What we’re looking for is proposals that will help shade these public areas at no cost or a low cost to the community,” said Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill.
Mayor Hill says the operator could generate revenue through the generation and sale of solar energy or through advertising.
Solar shade projects have popped up in various places around Australia. What was (and still may be) Australia’s largest car park solar power installation was completed at Elizabeth City Centre in Adelaide’s north in December last year. That project resulted in 1,400 car spaces shaded by solar panels and it has been a win for everyone – shoppers’ vehicles are protected from the sun while the Centre’s operator generates revenue from the electricity produced.
“Council has received feedback from residents and visitors to the area that is strongly in favour of shaded footpaths,” said Mayor Hill. ” We live in a hot and sunny part of the world, which is why we need to look at making it more comfortable for locals and travellers to walk through our city year round.”
Townsville City Council says it is committed to becoming more sustainable through undertakings like the Solar Shade Project – and if they can get someone else to pay for it, more power to them.
Tender proposals are open until 22 June 2020 and further information can be accessed on Council’s tenders web page.
Solar Power In Townsville
Council doesn’t appear to have much in the way of solar panels installed on its assets yet, but solar energy is very popular in the broader community. It’s not surprising given Townsville’s average 320 days experiencing sunshine a year, 8.5 hours of sun a day and 5.9 kWh m2 of global solar exposure.
There were more than 1,995 small-scale solar power systems in Townsville as at the end of March this year, with a collective capacity of 11.7MW. This works out to around 638 watts of small-scale PV capacity per person, compared to a 459 watts Australian average.