WINTER sun blasted the Jimboomba Police Station last week for the official launch of the building’s roof full of solar panels by Member for Logan Linus Power.
In a south-east Queensland first, 139 300-watt photovoltaic panels are now powering the station, the equivalent of 13 domestic rooftops of energy for the facility, which operates 24/7.
Mitchell Smith, of Queensland Police Service (QPS) portfolio engagement, said: “We’ve installed a 40-kilowatt system and a lighting upgrade from flouro to LED, and that will pay for itself with energy bills in one year.”
Mr Smith credited Senior Sergeant Greg Rynne with the idea.
“We realised the service was spending in excess of $13 million a year on electricity. There had to be some benefit in having a review of that,” Senior Sergeant Rynne said.
“I knew that Mitchell had expertise in the electricity and carbon-neutral area, and I started to look at that with the blessing of my assistant commissioner.
“We commenced the project in December, to optimise the electricity use of the service, and we started to identify sites that would benefit from solar or a lighting upgrade.”
Jimboomba is the first of five stations to upgrade to solar. Sites at Noosa, Hendra, Mount Ommaney, and Yamanto had major upgrades, with solar sites commissioned in northern Queensland.
Mr Power said the move combined cost reduction and clean energy thinking.
“These projects are looking to save QPS over a million dollars a year, and that’s money that could be better spent on front-line policing.
“This is a win-win,” he said.
“We don’t need to be philosophical when we’re actually making hard savings.
“I’d love to get (federal energy minister) Josh Frydenberg here to show some of the good projects which are actually making budget savings.”