City Library

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The Newcastle City Library located in the War Memorial Cultural Centre, Laman Street, Newcastle attracts more than 180,000 visitors though its doors each year.  The Library has a mix of public access spaces, exhibition areas, meeting rooms and offices. It operates 6 days a week, with the public library accessible to the public from 9.30am - 8pm on five of these days.

After undergoing a major lighting upgrade, a solar photovoltaic (PV) system was identified as a significant way to further decrease grid-sourced electricity and the costs associated with powering the library.  The Library roof space provided a highly suitable location for the installation of PV technology, which could reduce the electricity required to power this 3-storey building.

A 44.28 kW rooftop grid-connected PV system was installed covering two sections of the corrugated roof top, incorporating a mix of flat and titled panels to maximise light exposure.  The solar installation project was completed in just two months with the system ‘switched on’ on in February 2015.  The project was funded through the NSW EPA Waste and Sustainability Improvement Payment Program.

The solar PV system will reduce Council’s exposure to rising electricity prices while helping to meet its goal of having 30% of Council’s electricity generated from low-carbon sources by 2020.

Quick Facts

System size 86.25 kW
Location Newcastle, NSW
Total project cost $85,000
Date system switched on March 2015
Solar generated electricity 124,000 kWh pa
Grid consumption reduction  13.5% pa *
Electricity and peak capacity savings $21,000

* At the time that the system was completed.


Solar panel type Multicrystalline
No. of panels 345
Panel efficiency ≥ 15%
Panel wattage 250W

To find out more contact Energy & Resource Management in the Projects & Contracts Unit
on 02 4974 2000.