Christian Community Ministries – 850kW+

Christian Community Ministries – 850kW+

Christian Community Ministry

850kW+

The college is part of the Christian Community Ministries, comprising of 12 schools and 6000+ students! These schools include: 

Endeavour Christian College

Blakes Christian College

Seaview Christian College 

Livingstone Christian College 

Cornerstone Christian College – Busselton

As part of this partnership, we worked closely with each client and designed each system  to meet specific performance ratios and maintain high utilisation of the solar energy produced. 

The systems were purposefully designed to be up to but not over 99kW as this is the maximum system size clients are able to claim the upfront STC rebate. The schools will benefit from significant energy cost savings and significant reductions in carbon emissions.

Watch this space! More projects in the works!

Project Details

12 schools and 6000+ students

Over 850kW+ installed across 12 schools

More Recent Projects

B&R Enclosures - 770kW System

Following consultations with our expert engineers and installers, B&R quickly realised the feasibility of this project and the significant mid to long-term ROI on the investment of their new state of the art solar system and full LED lighting upgrade – a high quality system to match a high quality product. 

Vicinity Taigum - 1.1MW

Vicinity Centres is one of Australia’s leading retail property groups with a fully integrated asset management platform across 66 shopping centres. They create a unique and relevant customer experience, delivering compelling value to our retailer partners and striving for excellence.

Australia Zoo - 638kW

World-renowned Australia Zoo at Beerwah, Queensland, is famous for its efforts in wildlife conservation, education, and exhibition. As part of the organisation’s mission towards environmental sustainability and energy independence, Australia Zoo is has now made the switch to solar energy. 

Our Clients

Award-Winning Quality Solar.

Look No Further, Get Started Today.

The Cathedral College Rockhampton – 100kW

The Cathedral College Rockhampton – 100kW

The Cathedral college rockhampton

500kW

Project Details

Location: Rockhampton, NSW

Panels: 1370 x QCELLS Q Peak 365W

Inverter: 1 x Fronius SYMO

660kW Tesla Powerpack

Full LED Installation

More Recent Projects

B&R Enclosures - 770kW System

Following consultations with our expert engineers and installers, B&R quickly realised the feasibility of this project and the significant mid to long-term ROI on the investment of their new state of the art solar system and full LED lighting upgrade – a high quality system to match a high quality product. 

Vicinity Taigum - 1.1MW

Vicinity Centres is one of Australia’s leading retail property groups with a fully integrated asset management platform across 66 shopping centres. They create a unique and relevant customer experience, delivering compelling value to our retailer partners and striving for excellence.

Australia Zoo - 638kW

World-renowned Australia Zoo at Beerwah, Queensland, is famous for its efforts in wildlife conservation, education, and exhibition. As part of the organisation’s mission towards environmental sustainability and energy independence, Australia Zoo is has now made the switch to solar energy. 

Our Clients

Award-Winning Quality Solar.

Look No Further, Get Started Today.

Emmaus College – 650kW

Emmaus College – 650kW

Emmaus College

650kW

As part of our partnership with Catholic Education Rockhampton, the governing body for around 50 Catholic schools in north Queensland, we specified and installed this 65okW system for Emmaus College, complete with 840kW of Tesla Powerpack storage and LED lighting upgrade. Battery storage was essential for the school in order to supply energy through the night to the students in the boarding rooms. 

As part of their innovative, future-oriented mindset, CER approached GEM Energy to not only reduce their carbon footprint and rising electricity bills, but also to show leadership in the community and inspire environmentally conscious students.

Project Details

Location: Rockhampton, Queensland

Panel: 1913 x QCells 340W

Inverter: 27 x Fronius Symo 20/15kW

Battery: 840kW of Tesla Powerpack Battery Storage

Full LED lighting upgrade

More Recent Projects

B&R Enclosures - 770kW System

Following consultations with our expert engineers and installers, B&R quickly realised the feasibility of this project and the significant mid to long-term ROI on the investment of their new state of the art solar system and full LED lighting upgrade – a high quality system to match a high quality product. 

Vicinity Taigum - 1.1MW

Vicinity Centres is one of Australia’s leading retail property groups with a fully integrated asset management platform across 66 shopping centres. They create a unique and relevant customer experience, delivering compelling value to our retailer partners and striving for excellence.

Australia Zoo - 638kW

World-renowned Australia Zoo at Beerwah, Queensland, is famous for its efforts in wildlife conservation, education, and exhibition. As part of the organisation’s mission towards environmental sustainability and energy independence, Australia Zoo is has now made the switch to solar energy. 

Our Clients

Award-Winning Quality Solar.

Look No Further, Get Started Today.

Caboolture Square – 520kW

Caboolture Square – 520kW

Caboolture Square - 520kW

Solar-powered shopping center

Caboolture Square is home to over 30 shops in downtown Caboolture, 50km north of Brisbane. In May 2018 we installed 520 kW, that’s just over half a megawatt, of solar panels on the precinct’s roof.

ClientCaboolture Square c/o Alceon Group & Caboolture Retail Trust
LocationCaboolture, SE QLD
CompletedMay 2018
System size520.41 kW
System type3-phase, solar export
Solar panels1577 x Phono Solar 330W
Solar inverters9 x ABB Trio 50kW

Caboolture Square is set to win on a number of fronts with their investment into solar:

1 – Reducing electricity consumption by almost 40%

2 – Income from LGC (Large-scale Generation Certificate) generation adding up to over $400 000 until the scheme runs out in 2030

3 – Reduction in peak demand charges on their electricity bill

4 – Income from exporting unused electricity to the grid

It is promising for Australia’s renewable energy future that large-scale (100kW+) solar installations like the one at Caboolture Square are now being approved to export electricity to the grid. Over the last decade, the increase in solar electricity being fed into the grid meant that grid stability was getting compromised and commercial installations were usually excluded from exporting power (“zero export systems”). Now that the technology, infrastructure and local expertise are catching up, commercial solar is ready to roar from every rooftop!
GEM Energy specialise in renewable energy consultancy, photovoltaic engineering, electrical engineering, energy efficiency audits, financial feasibility analysis and the integration of solutions. From challenging custom installations to small home solar systems, GEM Energy’s experienced team has the skills to turn every project into a thriving investment. Our strong regional presence underpins the core of our success. At GEM Energy we build genuine connections with our many and varied clients who then refer us on to their friends, family, and business partners.

Look No Further. Get Started Today.

What our customers say about us

We are mechanical engineers and were very fussy about the installation. GEM Energy’s team proved to be very professional and the workmanship excellent.
Laureen Kirwan

Director, Down Under Property Investments

We have found the GEM Energy team to be very reliable and the work of a high standard.
Cameron Dean

Gin Gin & Dry

…it wasn’t until we met with GEM Energy Australia that we were confident we were dealing with a compay that had the expertise to get the job done.
Phil Sellwood

CEO, Bundaberg YMCA

Friendly Society Private Hospital – 545kW

Friendly Society Private Hospital – 545kW

Friendly Society Private Hospital

From humble bush hospital to solar-powered world-class facility

Bundaberg’s Friendly Society Private Hospital goes solar to curb massive electricity price hikes and save millions of dollars

  The Friendly Society Private Hospital is located in the west of Bundaberg, Queensland. The hospital has been operating for about 70 years now, having spun off from a Friendly Society founded in 1897. It is unique in today’s healthcare delivery environment, as it is run as a not-for-profit organisation. The betterment of the community is at the forefront of its operation, and all profits are reinjected into the operations of the hospital rather than distributed to any third parties. The hospital has a long and rich history, expanding from a medical institute and private nursing hospital in the 1920’s to a small bush hospital operated in a large Queenslander house in the 1940’s. Major additions and alterations followed in the 1960’s, then a number of large investments into modernisations and extensions over the next 50 years shaped the Friendly Societies Private Hospital into the excellent facility that it is today. Friendly Societies have been around for several hundred years, providing essential social services to help and shield each other from misfortune, stemming from times before insurance schemes and the welfare state. Also known as mutual or benevolent societies, a number of these organisations are still around today, serving communities by providing social or cooperative financial services like insurance, pensions, savings and credit associations.

The Friendlies hospital is the first hospital in the Bundaberg and Wide Bay Region to achieve accreditation under the International Standards Organisation accreditation program (ISO 9001:2008), as well as the National Standards, an international benchmark that extends beyond local healthcare expectations. These are achievements underpinned by the facility’s amazing performance and the reviews of thousands of happy patients.

Business Problem

The Friendlies Hospital was staring down the barrel of increases of over 30% to its $80,000 per month power bill – effectively increasing the yearly power bill by almost $300,000. Wholesale electricity costs in Australia have soared by over 50% over the last couple of years, and the price increases are slowly getting passed on to the large electricity market customers. Especially in regional areas where there is less market competition and higher network costs, electricity costs at the scale of The Friendlies Hospital are fast becoming unsustainable. When GEM Energy was brought in to assess their situation and investigate the prospect of adding a solar energy solution, we found that the hospital was in dire need of an energy efficiency upgrade. It was fitted with inefficient fluorescent and halogen lighting throughout and was using no less than twelve instantaneous gas hot water storage tanks – which were contributing to a large chunk of their energy bill woes. Like many other businesses and organisations in this situation and particularly in the case of a internationally recognised private hospital, compromising on the quality of care at the hospital in order to balance the books was simply not an option. The Friendlies also did not want to raise their fees, so they had to find an alternative solution. In early 2017, the looming electricity price increases prompted action and GEM Energy was commissioned to install solar energy and energy efficiency solutions.

The Solution

545 kW of solar PV was installed, utilising the vast amounts of space available on the rooves of the Friendly Society complex. Concurrently, our in-house commercial LED lighting designer did a full LED lighting upgrade, while we also worked closely together with SolarArk to install five new commercial solar water heater systems across the hospital’s roof. The system was specially designed to immediately use close to 100% of all energy produced, as opposed to sending energy back to the grid for a credit. Hospitals are great candidates for using solar energy in this way as they operate twenty four hours of the day, seven days a week – meaning there is always energy demand to be filled. The design and installation of the solar energy solution did not come without its challenges. The hospital’s rooves consist of a mish-mash of decades of extensions, with a number of obstacles that create irregular shading patterns that can compromise a solar system if designed poorly. As usual, our electrical engineering team rose to the occasion and conceptualised a design that would effectively supply 25% of the hospital’s electricity needs, with 75% of the hospital’s available roof space covered in solar panels. To gain maximum efficiency and performance out of their system, the Friendlies went with absolute top-of-the-range solar system components. At our recommendation, they elected to install commercial-grade 435W Sunpower solar panels. These panels are so efficient that NASA uses them in space. They also elected to use SolarEdge inverters with module-level power optimisers – which get the most out of each individual panel. The larger 435W panels made sense for the hospital, as they could generate more power per panel across fewer panels and less roof space. Because of the irregular roof shading patterns at different times of day and year, it was absolutely vital for the Friendlies Hospital to make use of a SolarEdge power optimising solar inverter system. Our modelling had showed that a traditional string inverter system would have lost too much power to be viable. The power optimising system instead allows each panel to operate independently – similar to micro inverters – and ensures maximum efficiency and output per panel. Having individually performing panels not only increases efficiency and output substantially, but it also allows for easy pinpointing of faults and carrying out repairs and maintenance of such a large system. The scale of the project certainly required some extra project management. The installation of the 1253 solar panels was completed in several stages to ensure the safety of our local contractors from Elvery’s Electrical Service, as well as the hospital staff and patients during the installation phase.

Specifications

System Size: 545kW Solar PV + LED Lighting + Solar Hot Water

Major system components:

1253 x Sunpower 435W solar panels 1253 x P500 SolarEdge optimisers

16 x  27.6 kW SolarEdge inverters

660 x Evacuated tubes for SolarArk hot water system System type: Zero export, 3-phase

 Key Data:

System cost: $1,147,940 ex GST

Financed privately

Reduction in electricity consumption by 25% or 1,148,000kWh in the first year

919,000kWh per year through solar PV

229,000kWh per year through LED lighting

Savings of over $3 million over 10 years

Payback of four years

Results

The system has now been fully commissioned and is performing well. The expected reduction in electricity consumption is 25% or 919,000kWh per year. The LED lighting upgrade adds a 229,000kWh reduction to the tab, totalling over 1MWh of savings per year, or over $3 Million over ten years. The payback of the project, however, is just four years. The hospital will then own the system outright, and have plenty of extra cashflow available for more of the great work they do. Friendly Society Private Hospital Business Development Manager, Stuart Bonnett, said, “We believe that environmental sustainability is the only way forward. Through solar electricity, solar hot water and LED lighting, this system will save The Friendlies millions of dollars. As a not-for-profit hospital, that is millions of dollars that go back into services for our patients and this community.” GEM Energy CEO, Jack Hooper, commented, “The Friendlies are a great example of an organisation looking to secure their energy costs and provide a huge carbon off-set. Many local business owners understand how much of an impact soaring electricity prices have had on their profitability. A good quality solar installation gives them the opportunity to secure their energy costs and improve the financial and environment sustainability of their business”.
Solar Panels Brisbane

Conclusion

The Friendly Society Private Hospital was facing a dire outlook with electricity bill hikes of 30%, bringing the yearly electricity bill to well over $1million. The 25% bill reduction to be achieved through solar PV, combined with other energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting upgrades and five new solar hot water systems, will instead put more than $3million back into the hospital. Additional solar panels or batteries such as a Tesla Powerpack can be added in the future, as all of GEM Energy’s solar installations are readily expandable. The Friendly Society Private Hospital solar installation is the largest of its kind on a hospital in Australia, and GEM Energy are proud to support this exemplary organisation in their pursuit of more efficient operations and lower carbon emissions. We would like to thank the hospital management for putting their trust in our company and big thanks also go out to our fantastic local installers at Elvery’s Electrical Service.

GEM Energy have a passion for helping Australian businesses save money on electricity bills and reclaim their energy independence through our commercial solar solutions. Get in touch for your free quote or feasibility study today!

Look No Further. Get Started Today.

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