Ipswich business leads way on solar power

Ipswich’s reputation as a leading smart city continues to amp up with the region now home to Australia’s largest privately owned solar and smart battery rooftop power station.

Llewellyn Motors at Booval installed the system late last year.

It has 1,232 solar panels and cutting edge technology which allows it to supply excess power to the grid.

It is expected to reduce the dealership’s carbon footprint by 8,400 tonnes and mean savings of more than $2 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.

Dealer principal Wade Llewellyn said installing solar had long been on his radar but the tipping point came when he was shown it could be cash flow positive.

“We’re always looking at ways to reduce our costs, put back into the community and support the environment. Solar has traditionally meant a big outlay up front with an eventual return,” he said.

“This system is different because it’s not only generating long term economic and environmental benefits, it’s actually cash flow positive from day one.”

This is because of new technology at the heart of the system.

Most large commercial solar power systems are not allowed to feed excess energy into the grid for fear of overcooking it.

Technology used at Llewellyn Motors removes this issue.

Tom McVerry from PlanetArk Power, which installed the system, said the technology was the “missing link” that allowed the system to be cash flow positive from the outset.

“Smart technology means the system can monitor the power requirements of the grid and scale its power output to match it,” he said.

“As well, the smart battery used store a portion of the unused power and determine the optimal time to sell it to the grid, such as during peak demand, to not only generate income for Llewellyn Motors but also reduce demand on the grid.

“The ability to export to the grid as a norm and not an exception will give businesses with large roof space the confidence to install more solar PV on their roofs than are required for their own usage.”

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