Canberra’s National Arboretum, a 250-hectare tourist centre that has more than 90 forests of rare, endangered, and symbolic trees, has reportedly gone off diesel after installing solar and battery storage.
ACT Climate Minister Shane Rattenbury unveiled the 30kW solar system and an 82kWh lithium-ion phosphate battery storage system, which was installed by ITP Renewables.
RenewEconomy reported on its website that the project will fully replace the diesel generator that has been powering the Arboretum’s operations and reduce ACT government emissions by 28.5 tonnes per year. It is expected to be much cheaper than the diesel gen-set and the cost of the solar and battery system is anticipated to be fully repaid within eight years, via fuel savings alone.
Minister Rattenbury stated, “The installation of the 30-kilowatt solar panel system, supported by battery storage, replaces the large diesel generator at the Arboretum’s horticulture works depot. The system is self-contained and off-grid. It can run hot water system, computers, fridges, air conditioners, and power tools, even welders.”
The Minister also added that the team of arborists and gardeners in Canberra’s National Arboretum could now use clean, solar-powered electric chainsaws, lawn mowers, and hedge trimmers for their work.
During the system launch, Minister Rattenbury commented, “(The arborists) are now able to use these electric tools, fully powered by the sun. So it is clean technology, but it is also technology that’s making their job easier. They’ve got more than 40,000 trees to look after at the arboretum, so using these (solar rechargeable) power tools obviously makes their job a whole lot easier.”
“The strength of a project like this is that it is actually off-grid, so instead of having to pay to bring the power lines out, it is cost effective to put this system in here. But the way the price of both batteries and solar panels is changing, these sort of options are becoming more and more affordable for a range of different applications,” he further added.
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