According to The Australian Financial Review, Melbourne's 101 Collins Street office tower has notched up a first – the highest commercial solar panel structure in the country.
The Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation-owned building – has attached 180 solar panels to a 7.75-metre structure built on the roof of the premium tower. The $230,000 solar installation will produce about 47,000 kilowatt hours of energy each year, equal to the annual energy use of about 12 homes, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 59 tonnes each year.
"Since 2008, base building energy use at 101 Collins Street has reduced from 12,000,000 kWh/annum to just 6,700,000 kWh/annum – a drop of 44 per cent".
Due to significant wind loads, it took seven months to complete the design, engineering and installation of the solar system on the top of the 56-storey building, at a height of 195 metres. The building's engineering services manager Bill Burgess said the highest recorded wind speed was 121km/h, The Age reported. The cost of the system was partially funded with a $4000 rebate through the City of Melbourne's Commercial Solar Rebate Program.
Separately, owners of the historic Hero Building in Russell Street have installed a 50kW solar panel system to power the lighting and ventilation systems in the common areas of the 60-year-old building, converted into a 14-storey residential tower in 1999.
Over the last year, the city has facilitated the installation of 415.12kW of solar on apartment buildings, single-family dwellings and commercial buildings across the municipality.
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