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The History Trust of South Australia’s Power Station is Live!

A desire to reduce its environmental footprint has led to the History Trust of South Australia flicking the switch to solar energy with a major $550,000 investment in renewable energy infrastructure, turned on this month at its National Motor Museum Birdwood site.

The National Motor Museum, containing Australia’s most valuable heritage vehicle collection, previously consumed around 1,140kw of energy per day. The new 300kw rooftop solar system’s 1100 solar panels will generate a full return on investment within only five years, saving more than $108,000 every year, and almost $2.4m within the first twenty-five years.

“The History Trust needs to reduce our carbon footprint, especially at the National Motor Museum,” said History Trust of South Australia CEO Greg Mackie OAM.

“This initiative is a no-brainer way to promote renewable energy and to help reduce the broader use of fossil fuels and their contribution to global warming.

“Over the past four years, we’ve sought new ways to grow our income and reduce our operational costs, so the History Trust can deliver initiatives such as this, knowing that careful financial management can improve our long-term impact.”

Energy consumption in museums is always high, with temperature and humidity controls needed 24 hours a day — even when museums are closed — to protect valuable historical collections. The National Motor Museum will now generate enough electricity to power its facilities, and deliver surplus power back to the electricity grid, providing long-term sustainability and value for money.

Education Minister and Minister for the History Trust, Hon. John Gardner MP said the initiative is an important new exemplar of how the state’s buildings and infrastructure can support renewable energy and deliver sustainable outcomes, while protecting South Australia and Australia’s valuable cultural heritage.

“I congratulate Greg Mackie and The History Trust, on delivering this significant and valuable investment. Mackie’s careful fiscal management and understanding of the emerging and future needs to contain costs have resulted in a positive outcome for the museum, the environment and ultimately our state”.

The History Trust will explore additional sustainability efforts, including converting to LED lighting and the replacement of ageing inefficient climate control systems up at the National Motor Museum to support long-term environmental and financial sustainability.

Chloe Svaikauskas

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