Coolest (or hottest?) parking in town

The Chatswood Solar Farm is up and running on the sun, after Willoughby City Council completed stage two of its innovative solar farm on the rooftop of the Westfield Chatswood car park.

The 166 kilowatt array now extends for 200 metres and provides shading for more than 70 car spaces.

The greenhouse savings from the renewable energy generated by the Solar Farm is equivalent to taking 70 cars off the road every year.

The solar system incorporates 680 photovoltaic panels and is expected to save more than 250 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.

The power generated by the system is distributed by a private network of cables to council operated buildings in the area. The Solar Farm is expected to reduce the demand for coal-fired power by around 50 percent at the two buildings currently connected, the Dougherty Community Centre and Devonshire Street Children’s Centre.

Willoughby Mayor Pat Reilly said the Chatswood Solar Farm was an amazing construction, and a site worth seeing in the middle of the shopping district.

“It is a fabulous example of utilising city spaces for sustainability projects that really make a difference to the carbon emissions of our council, with an added bonus of providing shaded spots to an open-air car park.

“It is a highly visible, yet non-invasive example of what can be achieved in the way of renewable energy in our council area.

“This impressive project is part of Willoughby City Council’s target to increase our photovoltaic portfolio by 20 percent by 2020. Council has a history of setting big targets for its environmental projects and following through with them.

“In addition to the Solar Farm, a number of smaller scale photovoltaic systems have been installed on the rooftops of council facilities across the city, totalling more than 60 kilowatts so far.”