Solar Arriving on Bus and Train Station Rooftops in WA


Western Australia’s State Government, led by Premier Mark McGowan, has this week announced its plan to overhaul Perth’s bus and train station rooftops with solar. The State has been a world leader in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has kept its economy strong. As a result, WA’s State Government announced a $5.5 billion Recovery Plan in July 2020.

What is the WA Recovery Plan?

WA’s Recovery Plan is the state’s path to bouncing back from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan includes a list of 21 priority streams, with each stream being supported by commitments such as funding and resourcing. This list includes renewable energy and new technologies, as well as green jobs and environmental protection. You can check out the whole list by clicking here and downloading the WA Recovery Plan PDF.

Under the renewable energy and new technologies stream, WA’s State Government outlined a plan to invest in renewable energy and battery storage on its networks and state-owned assets. Furthermore, it seems that the State is delivering on its plan; announcing a $66.3 million package that includes:

  • $4 million to help transform 10 schools into virtual power plants (or VPPs); and
  • Over $1.8 million to install solar panels at over 50 bus and train stations.

Which Stations Are Going Solar?

50 bus and train stations will get rooftop solar installations; adding up to over 1,000kW worth of solar panels… and the rollout’s already begun. Let’s start with bus stations; Booragoon, Kwinana, Morley, Victoria Park, James Street, Mirrabooka, Henley Brook and Optus Stadium bus station installations are complete, with work underway at Leederville bus station.

Now, for the train stations. This list is expected to grow, but for now the stations are as follows:

  • Rockingham (complete)
  • Currambine (complete)
  • East Perth (complete)
  • Bull Creek (works underway soon)
  • Murdoch (works underway soon)
  • Edgewater
  • Butler
  • Thornlie
  • Clarkson
  • Leederville
Mirrabooka Bus Station
Murdoch Train Station

WA Premier and Member for Rockingham Mark McGowan said that the energy generated from solar panels at these bus and train stations would be used to power a range of equipment.

I’m pleased Rockingham train station is benefitting from the installation of solar panels. The energy generated will also be used to power public infrastructure at the station such as ticket machines, signage, driver facilities, the lifts and escalators and will help reduce the electricity consumption.

Mark McGowan
Western Australian Premier and Member for Rockingham

What’s the Solar Landscape Like in WA?

Reading about the State Government’s commitment to solar for bus and train stations around Perth got us thinking about solar in general around WA. Even without a State-specific solar rebate on offer, the State had its biggest year for small-scale installations since 2011! So, let’s break down the numbers. According to the Clean Energy Regulator:

  • Western Australia had 51,667 small-scale solar power systems installed in 2011.

  • The State didn’t record more than 43,000 installations in a calendar year after that until 2020, when it achieved over 48,000!

Do you live in Perth? If so, find us on social media and let us know which stations you’d like to see undergo a solar makeover.

If you’re thinking about installing solar, use our free service to get 3 quotes from local installers. You’ll be able to compare them and choose the best deal. Whether you live in Western Australia or not, you can help your State to keep bumping up those installation numbers and do your bit for the planet!


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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.

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