Castlemaine’s Market Building will have a series of solar panels installed on it to reduce the Mount Alexander Shire’s carbon footprint and operational costs.
It is estimated the panels will save council $5000 per year – enough to offset electricity used to cool the building in summer.
The heritage-listed Market Building is primarily home to the towns visitor centre. The panels will not be visible from street level with council taking care to preserve the historic aspects of the building.
“We recognise the historical value of the Market Building and are taking all precautions to protect its heritage while improving energy efficiency,” Mount Alexander Shire’s acting director of sustainable development Rebecca Stockfeld said.
As the building is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, a permit application to install the solar system was made to Heritage Victoria, who approved the application.
Council has installed solar panels on a number of buildings with heritage value including the Castlemaine Town Hall and Civic Centre.
The system on the Civic Centre is a similar size to the Market Building system and is reliably producing more than 20,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year; more than enough to power three average homes.
Installation of the panels is part of Mount Alexander Shire Council’s efforts to reduce operating costs and become carbon neutral by 2025.