Sun to power justice in NSW courthouses

Thousands of solar panels will be installed on NSW courthouses as part of a new program aimed at making the buildings energy efficient.

Treasurer and Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said the $1.8 million rollout supports the NSW Government’s commitment to halve the State’s emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050.

“It’s great to see courts joining schools, hospitals and other government buildings in the uptake of solar energy, which will help our State more than double our solar energy generation to 126,000 megawatt hours (MWh) by 2024,” Mr Kean said.

“The NSW Government has the nation-leading policies and plans in place to reduce our emissions by embracing solar technologies, while upskilling and supporting local workers and businesses.”

Attorney General Mark Speakman said Stage 1 of the program will fund the installation of more than 3000 photovoltaic solar panels on 23 courthouses in metropolitan and regional NSW from early next year.

“While the judicial process is taking place inside these buildings, solar panels on their rooftops will be hard at work as well, contributing to a cleaner environment and saving taxpayers’ money,” Mr Speakman said.

“Courthouses in Stage 1 will generate an estimated 2,311 MWh of electricity per year – enough to supply a significant proportion of the buildings’ power, reducing carbon emissions by the equivalent of 360 average residential households.”

In addition to solar panels, the buildings will be upgraded with energy saving LED lighting, along with motion sensors in non-court areas such as meeting rooms and bathrooms. Those lights will only switch on when activated, saving electricity.

There will also be a trial at some courthouses of smart electricity metering, batteries to store unused solar power, and electric-vehicle charging stations for departmental vehicles.

The courthouse solar upgrades will begin early next year and are slated for completion in June. More courthouses will be assessed for inclusion in the program next financial year.

Download media release: Sun to power justice in NSW courthouses PDF, 159.37 KB

/Public Release. View in full here.