Adventure playground in Fitzroy plays with solar

From Enphase Energy:

Global energy technology company global energy technology company Enphase Energy, announced today that it has integrated solar generation into a new playscape at Australia’s oldest adventure playground in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

The Coal Flower Project at Cubbies comprises of five sculptural flowers that are nine metres in height. Twenty-five of Enphase’s S230 microinverters have been attached to individual solar panels that are connected to each petal. Commissioned by the Fitzroy Adventure Playground, the playscape was designed by the award-winning Agency of Sculpture.

The Cubbies playscape has served as a communal backyard for children living in social housing at the Atherton Gardens Estate in Fitzroy since 1974. The history of Cubbies is a catalyst for the coal flower concept as these sculptural flowers are growing defiantly in what was once an inner city industrial site. In this post-industrial location, the coal flowers symbolise the world we are leaving to children. Recycled conveyor belts salvaged from the coal industry connect the flowers to show the contrast between the potential of solar and Australia’s declining coal industry.

Besides providing expansive shade to the playground, the coal flowers will generate solar power to provide up to 6.8 kilowatts of power. This will exceed the energy requirements of the activity centre with surplus electricity exported back to the grid that will help reduce the operating costs of Cubbies. Children between the ages of 5 to 14 years old, many from refugee backgrounds, use the centre as a gathering point after school and during the weekends. While the main focus at Cubbies is on child directed free play, making friends, learning social interaction and resilience, the centre also runs activities such as dance classes, art projects and cooking classes.

David Weston, co-chair of the Fitzroy Adventure Playground said, “The Fitzroy Adventure Playground Committee has always set their sights on building a new high standard and ethical playground. We are delighted to have Enphase Energy as our Energy Technology Partner for the Coal Flower Project.”

The Committee is made up of community volunteers and has raised over $360,000 in cash and kind to fund the project. He added, “The Enphase microinverter technology meets stringent safety certification requirements which is crucial as children will be using the playscape. Enphase microinverters offer greater reliability and the quality of their technology will ensure that our investment in this playscape has the longevity it deserves. This structure will serve the community for many years to come.”

Nathan Dunn, managing director of Enphase Asia-Pacific said, “Enphase is delighted to be part of the Coal Flower Project at Cubbies. This playscape is truly unique as this will be the first time our microinverters have been directly installed to generate energy for an Australian playground. Cubbies’ vision for this installation delivers a powerful statement about the future of solar energy and the impact our choices have on the next generation.”

The Enphase Microinverter System offers higher performance and smarter insights for rooftop solar PV systems. It is simple to install and is designed to provide installers with the flexibility to optimise their rooftop PV installations. Enphase leads the industry in reliability and quality with microinverters that will reduce installation and maintenance costs and offer greater value to customers.

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