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Gold Coast Aquatic Centre

Southport QLD

Operated by the Gold Coast City Council, the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre (GCAC) is a world-class swimming, diving and recreation venue with a range of swim and dive pools, and fitness and gym facilities.

The council had experienced a near doubling of their electricity expenditure over the last ten years, and sought a more sustainable alternative to reduce costs, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.


As a prominent venue for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and anticipated global media coverage, the aesthetics and integration of the solar system was critical. The oceanfront position also meant the installation had to be resilient to withstand the harsh operating environment and meet the IEC 61701 – PV Salt Mist Corrosion testing standard.

A very busy facility that is open 7 days and host to a multitude of aquatic sporting events in the lead up to the games, the project needed to limit the impact on visitors and accommodate compressed time frames and limited site access. This was managed through coordination, collaboration, and a comprehensive risk management framework.


Planet Ark Power was able to design and install a 312 kW solar PV system within a short time frame, seamlessly integrated into the roof structure.

The GCAC solar system was designed to maximize roof space and to offset recent electricity price increases and help protect against future increases.



CO2e Savings p.a.
Environmental Impact

Solar PV Installations
312 kW


more than 10 million dollars of energy savings with commercial solar

Annual Savings
Reduction in power cost

The council opted to self-finance and from commissioning to take advantage of a cash flow positive system.

With an annual electricity bill of $27.4 million across all of the council’s operations, the $100,000 in savings in the first 12 months from this single project clearly demonstrate the benefits of solar.

“ - Outline@2x
One of the reasons the council looked for an alternate energy source was that annual electricity expenditure had almost doubled in the past decade and we needed to reduce our reliance on the current system by investing in alternative energy sources.

Tom Tate, Mayor of the City of Gold Coast.


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