Bolton Clarke runs on solar energy

By on June 9, 2022 0
Bolton Clark, Thornlands QLD

Australia’s largest independent not-for-profit aged care provider is deploying solar power in more than 20 residential aged care communities in Queensland and New South Wales, which is expected to eliminate more than 3,600 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the environment each year.

Bolton Clarke’s work program – comprising four recent installations at Thornlands, Banora Point and Currumbin Waters – follows the successful commissioning of solar photovoltaic systems in the provider’s Longreach and Bowen communities in 2019. The Bowen community has also three 13.5 kW Tesla Powerwall batteries to further reduce consumption.

Additional installations are underway in Parkinson and Townsville.

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In fiscal 2021, completed solar installations generated 382,000 kWh of electricity (approximately $76,000 based on 20 cents per kWh).

Property Development Managing Director James Mantis said the rollout would result in a total annual generation capacity of around 4.5 million kWh, which represents around 20% of existing electricity consumption in communities. .

It will build on the organization’s ongoing work with research and design partners, including QUT, to develop sustainable, energy-efficient communities.

The ongoing QUT iHub project at Bolton Clarke Fernhill, Caboolture – part of the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling initiative – aims to advance the industry’s transition to a low emissions future by testing new technologies to reduce energy consumption.

“The project installed a range of sensors to identify temperature, relative humidity, CO2, motion, atmospheric pressure, VOCs and Lux, as well as reed switches capable of identifying when windows are open or closed,” Mr. Mantis said.

“These sensors are used to determine the thermal resistance reference of the building envelope and the activity schedules of the occupants.

“Baseline results show that energy consumption is correlated with outdoor temperature, highlighting the significant impact of heating and cooling loads on total energy consumption,” Mantis added.

Bolton Clarke has been a key stakeholder and industry point of reference for the development and implementation of the National Australian Built Environment System (NABER) in residential aged care communities.

The NABER Star Ratings for Energy and Water in Retirement Villages and Residential Retirement Homes for the Aged launched in September 2021. The rating measures building performance on a scale of zero to six stars. A zero star rating means the building is performing well below average and has plenty of room for improvement. A six-star rating indicates market-leading performance, with half the greenhouse gas emissions or water consumption of a five-star building. A grant is currently available for NSW suppliers to receive their first water and energy assessment.

The organization recently became the first retirement residence operator to partner with electric vehicle sharing startup Ohmie Go! in his Europa on Alma community in St Kilda.