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Merimbula Fire Station goes solar

Published: 8th February 2008

NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) firefighters from Merimbula Fire Station today unveiled the station's new solar energy systems, which will generate up to 5000 kilowatt hours of clean energy for the station each year, which is more energy than the average Australian household uses in a 12 month period.

NSWFB Assistant Commissioner Mark Brown, Director of Regional Operations, said that the installation of the grid connect solar system and solar hot water system at Merimbula Fire Station was part of the NSWFB's ongoing commitment to minimising the impact the organisation has on the environment.

"The NSWFB is committed to making our stations and operations greener and more energy efficient.

"Solar hot water systems are now a standard feature in all new fire stations and Merimbula Fire Station's grid connected solar panels are part of a trial that will enable us to assess the benefits of using solar energy and investigate how it can be incorporated into current and future fire stations,"  Assistant Commissioner Brown said.

Assistant Commissioner Brown said that the new solar energy systems, installed by Pyramid Power, could save almost five tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually.

"The solar hot water system will provide 90 per cent of the station's hot water needs, all heated for free by the sun's energy while the grid connect solar system will provide essential power to the station with any surplus energy being fed back into the electricity grid, winding back the station's electricity meter.

"As well as the environmental benefits, it is estimated that the grid connect solar system could generate over $500 per year in savings," he said.

Superintendent Wayne Roberts, Zone Commander for the South Coast and Monaro area, thanked local organisation Clean Energy for Eternity (CEFE) and its founder Matthew Nott for their support of the project.

"CEFE has been instrumental is getting this project off the ground. Mr Nott has provided us with ongoing information and advice on the benefits of using solar power.

"We are proud to be contributing to the CEFE's goal of reducing energy consumption by 50 per cent and increasing the use of renewable energy sources in the region," he said.