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Werrington powers up with solar

Posted: Thursday 12 June 2008

Werrington Station - now powered by photovoltaic cells
Werrington Station - now powered by photovoltaic cells.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport John Watkins today unveiled Sydney's first railway station powered by photovoltaic cells.

The installation at Werrington will potentially contribute up to 40% of the station's electricity to power lights, drive lifts and run air-conditioning. Photovoltaic cells use solar power to make electricity providing a clean source of supplementary power for the station.

In the 1950s, scientists discovered that silicon (a natural element found in sand) initiated an electric charge when exposed to concentrated sunlight. A few years later solar cells were used to help power satellites.

Today, silicon from one metric ton of sand, used in photovoltaic cells, has the potential to produce as much electricity as burning 500,000 metric tons of coal.

"This is a step forward in the Iemma Government's commitment to green power and the environment," Mr Watkins said at the opening of the $5.4 million Easy Access upgrade of the station.

"It is hoped these hi-tech cells will help effectively manage energy consumption at Werrington and potentially other stations in the future."

"This $5.4 million Easy Access upgrade really does bring Werrington Station into the 21st century," Mr Watkins said.

The installation of the photovoltaic cells was included in the upgrade which began in May 2007 to increase the safety, comfort and accessibility for the 1000 passengers who use the station daily. It offers greater access for the elderly, parents with small children, workers and people with a disability.

Features at a glance:

  • Two new lifts and new stairs, improving station accessibility for all commuters
  • An upgrade of the accessible toilet
  • Upgraded carpark area including new disabled car spaces
  • New platform canopies
  • New canopies to stairs and lift entries
  • Upgraded security features including more comprehensive lighting and CCTV cameras