A NSW Government website

Going Solar

We can help your government agency get solar on your rooftop.

How to get solar on your rooftop

We can help your government agency get solar on your rooftop.

NSW Government has set a target to achieve 126,000 megawatt hours a year of rooftop solar on government buildings by 2024.

How we can help

We can help you identify, plan and develop rooftop solar opportunities at your sites.

We will also assess the best financial option for your agency.

There are three ways we can help you get solar:

  • direct purchase – where you buy the panels outright
  • hosting a solar system – where you get a service provider to install and maintain solar for no upfront cost. This is done through a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which is a straight-forward, low risk option. Your agency pays for the energy at a discounted rate over a fixed term.
  • low interest loans – you can get a loan through the Government Finance Facility to purchase and install a solar system.



Prior to working for Fire and Rescue New South Wales, I worked in the electrical trades. And I think that any building with a large roof like this that has the ability to generate power while it's sitting in the baking sun should do so. 

At any given time, we have six staff here to staff our two trucks. A 49 kilowatt system on a roof that's unshaded like this should produce somewhere between 100 to 300 kilowatt hours of power a day depending on how sunny it is. 

In April of this year, we had a 15 kilowatt PV solar system put on the ceiling of one of our roofs at the school as part of the Solar on Small Schools project. So the Department of Education submitted a grant to the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, and they were able to provide the grant then for eight public schools. And Coutts Crossing was lucky enough to be one of those schools. 

The students are aware that we've got solar panels on the roof, and they were quite keen to move forward with some projects around measuring the data around how much solar we're producing and what effect that's having within the schools. 

The solar project here at the Tamworth Works Depot involved setting up a large solar system on the roof that was energy efficient, modern, up-to-date, and going to be a cost saving benefit to the organisation.

They explained to us that by putting those on the roof, that we should be pretty well self-sufficient, generating enough power and getting plenty back to the grid. Keeping our daily running costs down and being a viable organisation and into the future. 

There's 2,030 solar panels that's been installed as part of this project. It's a 609 kilowatt system, which is the largest system on a health care facility in New South Wales and in Australia and I believe, potentially, the southern hemisphere. 

We were looking originally at about $130,000 a year savings based on the treasury loan application. And looking at the energy production today, we're actually looking at more like $150,000 a year. So it's looking very promising to well exceed the loan repayments, which means that we'll be cash positive for the entire project. 

Lidcombe Labs has started their sustainability journey a long time ago, almost seven years ago. A key feature of this project has been the installation of 170 kilowatt solar system, which includes the installation of 670 panels. There is now a solar target, which has been recently announced for government agencies. This is an achievable target. It's an effort that government agencies should look into to reduce their carbon footprint and further progress their agenda towards a net zero emission future.