Australia’s largest solar lighting project gets go-ahead

The Department of Defence is installing what will be the single largest solar lighting project in Australia.

The ground-breaking scheme is part of a wider $112 million upgrade to Robertson Barracks, about 22 kilometres south of Darwin, and home to the 1st Brigade and the 1st Aviation Regiment. The job – awarded to engineering contractor John Holland – includes the installation of 142 standalone solar-powered lights using LED sources along the external perimeter of the army base.

 ‘This is a significant statement for solar lighting’, Colin Arthur, general manager of supplier Orca Solar Lighting tells Lux. ‘It demonstrates that stand-alone solar lighting is no longer a last resort, it is but a real option. We’re seeing more and more Government Departments and industry at large are turning to solar for exterior illumination.

‘Additionally we’re seeing an ever increasing number of councils turning to solar as a solution to their outdoor lighting requirements, particularly where mains power is either problematic or cost prohibitive, and also when energy reduction initiatives are specified.’

Orca Solar is supplying 128 single and 14 twin outreach stand-alone Vertex solar lighting systems. The installation includes Cree LEDway luminaires from Advanced Lighting Technologies Australia.

As well as the Department of Defence, big clients who are specifying solar lighting and have projects in the pipeline include BHP Billiton, the Department of Communities, Leighton Contractors, Lend Lease, Queensland Rail, Rio Tinto and Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

‘The success of the project at Robertson Barracks will be a significant endorsement in the emergence of solar,’ says Arthur.