The Shire of East Pilbara invests in commercial solar power in the traditional mining town of Marble Bar

Solar Choice’s Commercial Solar Power Team recently helped the Shire of East Pilbara increase the size of their solar energy portfolio in the traditional mining town of Marble Bar. The solar power installations in and around the Marble Bar area build on Pilbara’s existing solar power portfolio, namely the 120kW commercial solar PV system installed at Newman Airport and brokered by the Solar Choice Commercial Team.

Solar power in the Pilbara region

The Shire of East Pilbara, located in Western Australia, is the largest Shire in the world, covering around 380,000 square kilometres (147,000 sq miles), and could also be nominated as the world hottest, with temperatures hovering just under the 40 degree mark for most of the summer months. This was the scale of the project that faced the Solar Choice Commercial Solar Power Team when developing a tender to help the Pilbara region increase their solar energy portfolio.

Located in one of the worlds sunniest regions the Pilbara area receives an average of 6.3 kWh of solar exposure annually making it an excellent location for solar PV, the Shire of East Pilbara were able to take advantage of Horizon Energy’s generous feed-in tariff for the town of Marble Bar, as well as Federal Government subsidies to dramatically reduce the overall cost of the system, this was effective the second part of a project that commenced with the installation of a 120kW system at Newman Airport.

Solar Choice worked with the Shires Manager of Building Assets, in order to develop a scheme that would reduce the electricity costs for the Shire as a whole. This resulted in  78kW over 14 of the Shire sites. Including the residence of the shires workers and some of their larger buildings including the councils depot.

This second phase of installation will produce over 25,000 kWh of clean energy in the Marble Bar area, and add to the clean energy already being produced in Newman.

© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Rebecca Boyle

Rebecca is a sustainable development and marketing graduate, with a background in community engagement and research. She has a particular interest in sustainable resource use.
Rebecca Boyle