Council adds more solar lighting
  • Tuesday 17 March 2009

During its Power Down month, the Sunshine Coast Council is helping reduce its carbon footprint by installing a new type of solar light at Kawana’s Outrigger Park.

The light is being installed as part of council’s “Power Down” initiative for reducing energy use throughout March and beyond.

Environment Portfolio holder, Councillor Keryn Jones, said the Kawana light would add to council’s growing suite of solar street lighting at Boreen Point, Noosaville and Buderim. In addition, council has solar bollards at Noosa and solar energy at The J at Noosa and the Point Perry shelter, but is looking to increase solar usage across the region.

“With a name like the ‘Sunshine Coast’, this region should definitely be using our greatest resource – the sun – so solar power is an obvious choice,” Cr Jones said.

“And given the Coast’s recent brush with Cyclone Hamish, a light that could continue to operate during flooding or high water is an added safety bonus.”

The $5500 light, kindly donated by Mike Arieni from local business EXlites, is suited to areas vulnerable to flooding or high tides.

“This particular light is easy to erect and can be moved if changes are made to public space or recreation design,” Cr Jones said.

Mr Arieni said he wanted to show the rest of Australia that the Sunshine Coast Region was a leader in clean energy lighting alternatives.

“I see the Sunshine Coast Council as the most progressive and green council we have had to date, with the mayor and councillors being very supportive of green, clean technology,” Mr Arieni said.

Council will monitor this latest technology with a view to increasing numbers in the future, particularly in areas where traditional grid-connected street lighting is difficult to install.

Cr Jones said bus shelters can use a solar panel comprised of a thin film stuck to the bus shelter roof that powers small LED lights.

“Such innovative technologies will greatly improve the uptake of solar in the future,” she said.

“Several council-owned community buildings in Caloundra are about to install large solar panel systems, funded partly by the federal government solar rebate.”

Council is also in discussion with Mr Arieni regarding a trial wind turbine to test the viability of wind power on the Sunshine Coast. A wind energy proposal is being discussed with Stockland Park management for a possible demonstration project and study site for educational institutions.

Companies that donated items for the solar street light are as follows:

  • Multipole, Mona Vale NSW for the aluminium pole
  • Sovereign Energy, Yatala Queensland for time in connecting and commissioning the system
  • Kyocera Solar for donating the solar panels to charge our system
  • RKC for the installation of the anchor to stand the pole on