Newcastle Art Gallery

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The Newcastle Art Gallery collection is one of the finest in regional Australia with its quality and breadth recognised as a significant cultural asset.  The collection includes over 6,100 works of art and presents a comprehensive overview of Australian art from colonial times to the present day. 

The Art Gallery's permanent and travelling collections are required to be kept in 24-hour climate controlled conditions to protect these works of art to International Museum standards. The control system required to create the optimum storage conditions is energy intense.  To reduce electricity costs, the Art Gallery roof space was identified as a highly suitable location for the installation of photovoltaic technology.

An 86.25 kW rooftop grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system has been installed which spans the entire cliplock roof top and incorporates 345 solar panels.  The solar installation project ran for two months and the system was ‘switched on’ on in March 2015.

The solar PV will significantly reduce the cost to run the climate control system and associated energy usage within the Gallery.  It will reduce carbon pollution by an estimated 99.33 tonnes and energy costs by over $20,000 per year. It will generate approximately 115,500 kWh of renewable energy annually, which equates to round 13% of current Art Gallery energy use (as at May 2015).  The project was funded through the NSW EPA Waste and Sustainability Improvement Payment Program.

The solar PV system will reduce Council’s exposure to rising electricity prices while helping to meet its goal of having 30% of Council’s electricity generated from low-carbon sources by 2020.

Quick Facts

System size 86.25 kW
Location Newcastle, NSW
Total project cost $122,000
Date system switched on March 2015
Solar generated electricity 124,000 kWh pa
Grid consumption reduction  13.5% pa *
Electricity and peak capacity savings $21,000

* At the time that the system was completed.

Technology

Solar panel type Multicrystalline
No. of panels 345
Panel efficiency ≥ 15%
Panel wattage 250W

 
To find out more contact Energy & Resource Management in the Projects & Contracts Unit on 02 4974 2000.