The Townsville RSL stadium turned on a 348kW rooftop solar PV system earlier this month. The 1800 solar panels that will supply the stadium is the largest roof-top installation in Northern Queensland, and one of the largest in Australia.

The system will produce 500 megawatt hours, which would be enough to power around 75 homes. This will provide the stadium with two thirds of its energy needs. The installation was part of Australia’s Solar Cities Program, which includes incentives for businesses to install rooftop solar. The project was completed by solar panel manufacturer Kyocera and solar installers Ergon Energy.

This has followed the lead of other local and international stadiums embracing solar power. The Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast had 574 solar panels installed, providing 275,000 kilowatt hours a year. Similarly, the Bankstown Basketball Stadium in NSW installed 45 solar panels and several solar hot water systems. Internationally, large scale projects such as the award winning Patriot Place project (US) which implemented a 525kW system, have demonstrated environmental, economic, and design aptitude in commercial implementations.

As well as the environmental benefits (460 tonne reduction in carbon emissions), such a large scale project has demonstrated the success of solar initiatives in Australia and the benefits that can come from large scale adoption of solar in businesses.