MAGNETIC ISLAND Uniting Church is now supplying sufficient electricity to the grid from its newly installed solar panels to
power nearly two houses, making it a net contributor of energy, rather than a net user.
The solar power was made possible by the Townsville Solar City project.
The church paid nothing for the installation and gains nothing by it, but the congregation’s Building and Grounds Convenor
Dr Rick Braley said members have the thrill of producing electricity for others to use.
Community engagement manager for Queensland’s only Solar City project, Julie Heath, said the church had graciously
agreed to host more than 60 panels on the roof, generating an average 37.5kW hours per day of electricity.
She said the Townsville Solar City project, funded by the Government’s Solar Cities project, had assessed more than
75 per cent of businesses and residents on Magnetic Island for solar panel suitability.
Trialling is taking place on the island with the help of a supportive community keen to be as sustainable as possible.
Residents and businesses have had free compact fluorescent light globes installed and been offered 16 different vouchers, such as a $100 voucher when a new, energy efficient refrigerator is purchased.
Ms Heath said the Solar City team will even take the old fridge away to be recycled.
“A fridge more than nine years old costs more to run than it’s worth" she said.
The project picked up a green marketing award at the Australian Institute of Marketing and was highly commended in the Public Relations Institute of Australia environment category.
Photo : Gracelyn Baird, Shirley and Alan Renton in front of Magnetic Island Uniting Church\’s solar panels. Photo by Denise Secomb