South Melbourne Market harnesses power of the sun

As part of the Council’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and energy use, the City of Port Phillip is installing an additional 612 solar panels on the South Melbourne Market’s rooftop.

The new 200kWp solar panel system is expected to generate 263,000kWh of electricity each year and save over $60,000 per year in avoided electricity costs. This is equivalent to powering 45 houses in Port Phillip.

The solar panels add to the existing 32kWp system already in place at the Market, which is one of 20 Council buildings where solar panels have been installed.

In the last 20 years, Council has reduced its greenhouse emissions by over 70 per cent by installing solar panels, improving energy efficiency of buildings and public lights, and purchasing renewable energy from Crowlands wind farm as part of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.

City of Port Phillip Mayor, Cr Dick Gross, said the new system complemented the sustainability initiatives the Market has in place while contributing to Council’s commitment to a sustainable future.

“The Council is working hard to create a sustainable Market for our local community and for future generations to enjoy. The new solar panels increase Council’s production of renewable energy, while saving on electricity bills,” Cr Gross said.

This project follows the solar panel installation on the St Kilda Town Hall in 2016, which saves up to $44,000 annually and the Solar Partnership Program which launched in 2018. The program supports apartment dwellers and businesses to install solar panels while providing expert advice to landlords, tenants and Owners Corporations.

Renewable energy is just one of the ways South Melbourne Market continue to lead the way in sustainability. The Market recently introduced takeaway coffee cup recycling and now accepts plastic milk bottles from the public for recycling.

South Melbourne Market Committee Chair, Jo Plummer, said the new initiatives reflect the Market’s commitment to reducing plastic waste and follows its ban on single use plastic bags in April 2018 and its ban on plastic straws in December 2018.

“We are working incredibly hard to reduce our environmental footprint as best we can, with several sustainability initiatives in place, from food rescue, water recycling, oyster shell recycling and a progressive landfill diversion strategy which has seen up to 90 per cent of our organic waste volume reduced,” Ms Plummer said.

The Market will be celebrating all things sustainability during September, with cooking classes, tours, workshops and information sessions as part of their annual Sustainable September program.

Visit southmelbournemarket.com.au for the full program and details.

Cr Tim Baxter, Cr Bernadene Voss and Mayor Dick Gross (L to R)

Cr Tim Baxter, Cr Bernadene Voss and Mayor Dick Gross (L to R)

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