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AUSTRALIAN BUS OPERATOR Busways has taken another step towards a sustainable future with the installation of solar panels at its Penrith depot, the company has announced.

Busways Penrith aims to produce more than 150,000kWh of solar power annually with the installation of its new 99.75kW solar power plant, it states.

This amount of power is the equivalent reduction in C02 emissions achieved by 1,754 trees growing to 10 years old, or reducing petrol use by 45,000 litres annually, it explains.

The solar panels are REC Twinpeak series panels, an emerging technology that minimises losses across the array. It was installed by 24-Hour Solar Power as Busways moves towards more energy efficient depots.

Busways' solar panels at Penrith.jpg 


“When you look at the statistics behind solar panel energy and how much more efficient and sustainable they are for the environment, it was an easy decision to install them,” Busways managing director Byron Rowe said.

“As a business we have a responsibility to do whatever we can for the environment and the sustainability of our planet.

“Our operations, like all businesses, have an environmental impact. We’re constantly looking at more ways where we can reduce this impact.

Managing Director Byron Rowe.jpg

“We already use recycled water and water tanks at our depots, as well as LED and sensor lights. Adding solar to the list is just another step in the right direction.

“We also recently introduced stringent Euro 6 vehicles into our fleet with low-emission diesel engines, which achieved a 75 per cent reduction in emissions compared with previous buses, which is a great feat,” he said.

Managing Director Byron Rowe with the solar panels.jpg 


Busways is also currently trialling an automated electric vehicle in Coffs Harbour to determine if electric vehicles are a possible and viable long-term solution to add to the public transport network in the future.

The company is also participating in government exploration of a zero-emissions bus trial.

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Photography: courtesy Busways

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