AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST SOLAR PATHWAY LIGHTING PROJECT COMPLETED AS THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WALKING INCREASES
With more people walking and 30 percent of people walking more than usual during COVID, the Goulburn Mulwaree Council in New South Wales has done what more local governments across Australia are being urged to do — invest in solar pathway lighting.
As part of a milestone project, Melbourne-based company Leadsun has installed 160 lights along 10 kilometres of walkway and cycle paths in Goulburn in what is the largest public solar lighting project of its kind in Australia.
Leadsun’s Managing Director Matt Pollard said Leadsun was a world leader in public SMART lighting, having designed and patented the first all-in-one LED solar light.
“This Goulburn project started 12 months ago. The first stage had 120 lights over the first section of the pathway,” Mr Pollard said.
“Since then, there’s been an extension to the pathway network and there’s been another 42 lights, so in total there’s 160 lights all connected throughout the pathway and I believe that’s the largest solar pathway lighting project in Australia.”
Energy Minister and Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor said the walkway in Goulburn was now safer and more accessible making it a well-used community asset.
“I’m thrilled that the installation of solar lighting will extend the hours of use of the walkway,” Minister Taylor said.
Mission Australia’s Man Walk group member Daniel Strickland uses the path weekly and said he has seen more people exercising before sunrise and at night since the lights were installed.
“When we started in July last year before the lights we would come along with our iPhones and our torches,” he said.
One for one, solar public lighting is more cost effective than traditional electrical street lighting and does not require extensive trenching nor electrical wiring. Power can be stored in the lithium-ion batteries for three days.
The Goulburn Mulwaree Council is now planning a further 1.5km extension to the SMART lighting project which was partly funded under the Federal Government Community Sport Infrastructure Program.
Mr Pollard said sporting clubs, walking groups and residents were increasingly lobbying local governments to apply for grants to install SMART solar lighting to improve access and safety.
Heart Foundation figures show 30% of Australian are walking more than usual during COVID.