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Project Summary 
System size100kW
Panel TypeET Solar Panels (phase 1), Tier 1 Trina Solar Honey (phase 2)
InvertersABB Solar Inverters (phase 1), Fronius Symo (phase 2)
MonitoringABB Monitoring (phase 1), Fronius Solar Web (phase 2)

 

ZEN Energy has enjoyed a strong relationship with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) over many years, highlighted by 100kW of solar installed across the roofs of its Ridleyton head office and newly constructed adjoined Education and Conference Centre.

The solar energy produced by these panels is helping the ANMF (SA Branch) significantly lower their operating costs, enabling the organisation to direct more funds to initiatives that benefit its member nurses, midwives and personal care workers. The panels are also positioning the organisation for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable future.

About the Project

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) is a professional and industrial organisation representing more than 20,000 nurses, midwives and personal care workers across South Australia. ANMF (SA Branch) has been the leading voice for the nursing and midwifery workforce for more than a century, working together to negotiate positive outcomes at a local, state and federal level.

With the cost of energy and environmental issues growing concerns for both its commercial operations and its membership base, ANMF (SA Branch) first realised the benefits of ZEN Energy solar in 2016 when it invested in a 63kW solar system for its Ridleyton head office. This investment delivered energy cost savings and environmental benefits from day one, confirming to the ANMF (SA Branch) the benefits of solar and working with ZEN Energy.

On the back of a rapid expansion to provide new facilities for staff and members a year later, the ANMF (SA Branch) turned again to ZEN Energy to design and deliver a further 37kW solar system atop its new multimillion-dollar Education and Conference Centre addition at the Ridleyton site. Commissioned as a state-of-the-art facility to further invest in the future of South Australia’s health workforce, the Education and Conference Centre acts as the epicentre of nursing and midwifery education for many South Australians.

With the combined amount of ZEN Energy solar installed at the site now sitting at a huge 100kW, the solar energy savings across the site are delivering real operating cost benefits for this peak representative body and helping to free up funds to benefit its member nurses, midwives and personal care workers.

Installing the Project

When the ANMF (SA Branch) first started considering solar for its Ridleyton head office in 2016, there were some preconceived doubts about the upfront cost of installing solar and the benefits it could provide. However, as ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM says these concerns were quickly put to rest by the expert team at ZEN.

Installing solar with ZEN Energy has saved our operating costs by tens of thousands of dollars a year—that is money we now use to further benefit our 20,000-plus member nurses, midwives and personal care workers across South Australia,” Ms Dabars says.

“We couldn’t be happier with the products, service and the cost-savings to our business delivered by ZEN Energy,”

With seemingly endless options for providers to design and install a solar solution, the ANMF (SA Branch) wanted to ensure they didn’t make any mistakes in selecting a provider, and made sure that they chose a company that would not only deliver a quality solution for the present but also provide a partnership for the future. ZEN’s competitive proposal and above and beyond customer service not only helped secure the deal, but also laid the foundation for a strong ongoing relationship.

ZEN Energy has also strengthened its ongoing partnership with the ANMF (SA Branch) through the development of a special offer for its members, designed to leverage the benefits of the commercial partnership to the benefit of their staff, members, and their home energy needs.

How the System Works

As part of the assessment for the first 67kW solution in 2016, ZEN Energy conducted a thorough analysis of the ANMF (SA Branch)’s energy usage profile and patterns of the Ridleyton head office to develop a solution that would be technically sound, purpose-designed and deliver optimal financial benefits.

From the analysis, ZEN designed and installed a solution using more than 240 solar panels, controlled by two ABB solar inverters to support the initial needs of the site.

An aerial image of the first 67kW installation by ZEN Energy on the ANMF (SA Branch) offices at Ridleyton, SA

As the ANMF (SA Branch) expanded its footprint to include a multimillion-dollar Education and Conference Centre in 2017-18, ZEN was again contracted to provide additional solar to further offset the organisation’s growing energy needs.

During this second round of works, ZEN Energy and the ANMF (SA Branch) worked together to add 36kW of solar to the site, taking the total to 100kW. This second installation was completed in 2018 and comprised more than 130 Tier 1 Trina Solar solar panels, controlled by Fronius Symo solar inverters.

An aerial image of the combined 100kW solar installation by ZEN Energy on the ANMF (SA Branch) offices at Ridleyton, SA, spanning both the original building and the Education and Conference Centre

Project Outcomes

By partnering with ZEN Energy, the ANMF (SA Branch) is reducing its operating costs, being more environmentally and economically sustainable, and delivering more value and services to their members.

Across the expected 25-year lifespan of the two solar systems installed, the ANMF (SA Branch) is forecast to save around $20,000* in annual energy costs. This cost-benefit will only increase if grid electricity tariffs climb over time. Using renewable energy in lieu of the grid also provides the ANMF (SA Branch) with the potential to reduce its carbon footprint by over 100,000 kg each year, which some forecasts suggest is equivalent to ANMF (SA Branch) staff and members planting 500* trees every year over the life of the systems.

“We have been really happy with our ZEN Energy experience and we’re looking forward to extending the benefits of our partnership to help our members achieve energy savings in their own homes.” Ms Dabars concluded.

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*estimated yearly savings based on forecast combined average yearly production of both systems, 100% on-site solar self-consumption, and offsetting an average grid energy tariff of 15c per kWh.

*carbon to trees ratio based on Trees for Life Trees for Carbon estimate that 5 trees will absorb one tonne of carbon over their lifetime.

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Adelaide, South Australia

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