Hanwha Q CELLS helps Melbourne Zoo go carbon neutral

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Hanwha Q CELLS has supplied modules to installer Madison Australia, for a 100 kW array on the elephant and baboon enclosure at Melbourne Zoo. The installer says that the modules were chosen for their strong low-light performance, in one of the least-sunny cities in Australia.

“On average, Melbourne has just 46 sunny and 139 partly sunny days per annum,” said Madison Australia Director Yorath Briscoe. “As Q CELLS modules are the best performers in low light conditions, achieving 98% of their rated efficiency in low light conditions, their panels were the natural choice for us.“

Melbourne zoo has replaced much of its lighting with energy-efficient LEDs, reducing its electricity demand from 22,000 kWh/a to 6,200kWh. Combined with the solar array, the zoo reached carbon neutral status.

“Increasing our solar power capacity is a crucial element of our energy strategy,” explained Zoo Director Kevin Tanner. “As a carbon neutral organization, all our new developments place a high priority on sustainability.”

The Melbourne Zoo array is not the first commercial-rooftop installation at a zoo in Australia. The Perth Zoo features a solar canopy, designed and supplied by SunPower’s Australian subsidiary.

In a statement announcing the Melbourne supply, Hanwha Q CELLS notes that the array’s completion is timely as the a review of Australia’s renewable energy target (RET) appears to have fallen out of favor with the current federal government of Tony Abbott. The review had called for Australia’s RET to be slashed, in a move that the renewable energy sector has said would decimate the industry.