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Gold Coast’s Sand Bypass System To Use Solar Energy

There’ll be a new solar panel installation on the Gold Coast, as the Gold Coast’s Seaway Sand Bypass System will be utilizing a PILOT solar-powered, renewable energy system in order to help power itself, in order to cut down on carbon emissions, as well as operational costs.

Work is currently underway for the creation of a 100-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array that’ll be used to provide power for The Spit’s Sand Bypass System. Said system transports 500,000m3 of sand from The Spit to South Stradbroke Island annually, which helps keep the Gold Coast Seaway navigable and safe for seafaring vessels, both commercial and recreational.

The currently-used system eats up about 1.5 megawatts of electricity annually during operations, which amounts to about enough power to light up approximately 200 homes.

The new system, a 100-kilowatt solar panel installation on the Gold Coast capable of providing electricity equivalent to about 12 houses, is expected to cut down the Sand Bypass System’s annual power bill by $24,000. Work on the system started in April, and is expected to end by the latter half of June this year.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says that the project meshes well with the state government’s plans to commit to renewable energy, environmental conservation, and reduced carbon emissions. He notes that the Sand Bypass System helps maintain the sustainable operation of the Gold Coast’s waterways, keeping them accessible and safe, but they require a lot of power in order to operate.

CEO Hal Morris expressed similar sentiments regard the project, adding that they’re installing it as part of a pilot programme aimed at getting a clearer picture of the solar output potential of the area, as well as the impact that the coastal environment has on solar systems, as well as the Sand Bypass System’s energy load profile.

He adds that the information will then be used to see if the system can receive further developments in order to further cut down on its operating costs, as well as their carbon footprint.

SAE Group received the contract to design, install and maintain the solar system, following a $350,000 investment from the Gold Coast Waterways Authority.

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