Solar panels will be installed on Parliament House’s roof as part of an effort to find long-term solutions to the building’s energy needs. The building’s cooling and heating systems are 22 years old and wll need to be replaced within a few years
Initially, solar panels capable of generating about 42 kilowatts will be installed on the roof of the Senate wing and the gardener’s compound.
Alan Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services said that, although Parliament House has a big, wide roof which seems ideal for solar power, the main solution to the building’s energy needs may turn out to be trigeneration (using gas to generate electricity, heat and cooling on-site). A trigeneation system is currently being trialled at Canberra airport.