Solar car park for the ages

February 07, 2018

An artists impression of the solar car park.

In a first for the region ClubMulwala will be installing state of the art shade structures with solar panels to more than 100 of their car parking spaces to be completed by June 30, 2018.

Together with a car park redesign the club is intending to provide an A class parking facility for its visitors including the regions first electric car charging point for tesla cars, an investment fit for the future.
ClubMulwala CEO Alan Rowe said the new addition to the club would be very beneficial to members especially during the summer months when everyone is fighting for the shady parks with Yarrawonga Mulwala like most of the Murray region lacking in shade for parking.
“We want to do something that gives back to our members and back into the community,” Mr Rowe said.
“Especially in the weather we have had recently, many of our elderly members have had to park a fair way away just to get a park in the shade so to provide shade cover for one third of our parking will be fantastic.
“If it works out we will be the precedent others look to and we can set a market standard.
“The solar car park systems are also a good investment as the solar pays off the structures, car park and the solar generator.”
President of ClubMulwala Des O’Meara ESM OAM agreed wholeheartedly adding the project would eventually pay for itself.
“We’re excited about something for the benefit of our members, we’re looking into the way of the future,” said Mr O’Meara.
“It will pay for itself within a few years.”
Blue Tongue Solar have been engaged by ClubMulwala to design the system but are looking to employ local contractors to work on the project with tenders being sent out to all local companies.   
“It’s again about giving back to the community by using only local contractors but we hope that the investment into visitor comfort and the environment will inspire other businesses to follow suit,” Mr Rowe said.
“The board is being very proactive and forward thinking in their plans and aspirations for the club in the future and are 110% behind the project and the direction the club is heading.
“We’re just excited over the next five months to see the car park transform.”
812 frameless solar glass panels specially imported from China will adorn the top of the shade structure with 840 to 1200 kilowatts per day to be produced.
Together with the 80kw roof top system, ClubMulwala will be producing 430 Megawatts per year of renewable energy saving 404 tonnes of C02 each year, or 12,000 tonnes of C02 being released into the atmosphere over the life of the panels.  
“We are being mindful of the environment but we’re also hoping to save on electricity, the bills are exorbitant so we’re hoping to bring them down as well,” Mr Rowe said.
“We already have solar on the building but our bills are still ridiculously high so we started thinking how can we maximize return but still provide the club with a substantial amount of electricity.
“Saving money also means we can look at bettering other parts of the club which can benefit both us and our members.”
Mr O’Meara said the formal planning process had taken six months but the idea had been on the cards for many years.
“Our current board is just prioritising the wish list we have had for many years and a $750,000 investment like this that our 15,000 members will be able to derive massive benefits out of is just the way of the future for our club and will help us in being progressive,” Mr O’Meara said.  
“We were aspiring to keep to the branding of the club as well so the design was chosen to keep in the theme of the club using blue panels but if this stage of the project pays off our grand plan is to cover the whole car park.”
The starting date for the project has not yet been confirmed but Mr Rowe and Mr O’Meara were both adamant in saying the date of June 30 was a definite completion date.
“We haven’t been able to confirm the start date as of yet but the project will definitely be finished by the end of June,” Mr Rowe said.
“We are just very excited to see the transformation and to hopefully see this project pay off and kick start other businesses in the region flowing suit to help conserve the environment.”

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