Australia’s first public electric vehicle (EV) charging station, powered by solar panels over a car park structure, opened at Macadamia Castle in Knockrow last Friday.
The launch was led by Greens energy spokesman Dr John Kaye MLC and Ballina Greens candidate, Tamara Smith.
In a tongue-in-cheeck reference to comments recently made by the prime minister about coal being ‘good for humanity,’ a large banner was unfurled to read: ‘Solar is good for humanity.’
Tony Gilding, owner of The Macadamia Castle, said, ‘This Tony happens to think that solar is good for humanity. It is such a thrill for me to be setting an example of what is possible for small business despite the best attempts of fossil fuel companies to slow this inevitable swing to renewables.’
The 45kW system features 180 panels arrayed on a durable, purpose-built car canopy structure.
Also known as a solar carshade, Mr Gilding says it will generate half of Macadamia Castle’s energy needs in addition to charging visitors’ electric vehicles.
According to Mr Gilding, Macadamia Castle’s move to solar was prompted by ‘shockingly bad service and incompetence’ from his electricity supplier and retailer and the exorbitant cost of conventionally generated energy, as well as the the obvious benefits of non-polluting solar.
He added that he hopes to make Macadamia Castle entirely energy independent in the future.