World's Largest Solar Village Planned for Sydney

ELECTRICITY for the athletes' village next to the Olympic Games site in Sydney, Australia, is to be provided by the sun under a plan to establish the world's largest solar suburb.

British Petroleum (BP) has won the contract to supply the first 500 solar power systems for the village, which is located in the newly established Sydney suburb of Newington, next to the Olympic site at Homebush.

The solar village will include 665 permanent houses, all of which will have a one kilowatt peak renewable solar energy system. The village will in fact be a mini power station because its output will not only be sufficient to meet its own annual demand but also allow power to be supplied to the national electricity grid. Depending on the intensity of the sunlight and the demand for power, the village will also be able to import electricity from the grid if necessary.

The solar power system company of the London-based BP group claims to be the world leader in this field. The manager of BP Solar Australia, Ken Brown, said: "Around one million kilowatt hours a year of electricity from the sun will be produced from this village. Combined with energy efficiencies already built into the dwellings, this represents a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere of at least 2,500 tonnes a year.

"We have already been successful in securing large contracts both locally and overseas. For example, last year we were awarded a contract to supply solar systems to 400 remote villages in the Philippines, the largest project of its kind in the world."

A BP spokesman said in London that the first of the Olympic village houses equipped for solar power will be commissioned in March 1998.

British Petroleum plc, 1 Finsbury Circus, London, United Kingdom, EC2M 7BA. Telephone: +44-171 496 4231. Fax: +44 171 496 4099.

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